As the popularity of YouTube continues to rise, people are finding new ways to use and monetize YouTube videos, including Google itself. Google's server infrastructure for hosting all those videos is a major cost, not to mention Google's 2006 acquisition cost of YouTube. Google is trying to make money with this property but the leading question is "Will they ever be able to become profitable with YouTube?".
The hosting cost is one element; the traffic cost is another. Cost is growing exponentially as more and more videos are stored in Google's video repository and as more and more users are viewing the videos. It is hard to imagine how Google will be able to make money to cover the cost of providing this service, let alone become profitable.
Content contributed by individuals may be a nice thing for people to do but it is hard for Google to bring meaningful ads to such home made content. How does Google identify the content for relevant ad placement?
Proprietary commercial content, being of higher quality and with more specific scope (not just "here is my dog"), is likely a better target for relevant ad placement. However, the owners of such media may choose to host their own videos with which they can place ads and take home the entire revenue stream without sharing.
I hope Google will figure out how to monetize their YouTube property. I do not want to see this great service terminated.
As for ways for others to monetize YouTube videos, I came across an interesting LinkedTube site which offers a Flash widget that adds link and sharing options to YouTube videos. I see a couple of ways to utilize this:
- I make a video, place a link to my site in the video using LinkedTube and post it on YouTube. This advertises my site through the video.
- I find a YouTube video that I can embed into my site and place a link to a product that I am promoting or selling. This allows me to use someone else's video to promote a product that I can make money on.
Better yet, collaborate with others to bring a YouTube video with a LinkedTube placed link to sell a product or service.
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