Google’s senior executive exodus continues. YouTube’s head of monetization, Shashi Seth, has now left the company to become the chief revenue officer of Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup Cooliris. In his new job at the startup, which has raised some $3 million in Series A funding from […]

Google’s senior executive exodus continues. YouTube’s head of monetization, Shashi Seth, has now left the company to become the chief revenue officer of Menlo Park, Calif.-based startup Cooliris. In his new job at the startup, which has raised some $3 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Seth is going to help develop a new business and advertising model. 

“I think part of being a Googler is that you like smaller environments, and I think Google got a little big for me,” says Seth. He was appointed as YouTube’s head of monetization in January 2007. It has been a thankless job.

Despite being the largest video-sharing web site, YouTube is still finding it hard to make money. My sources say that YouTube made around $80 million in 2007, a number that could grow by more than 50 percent this year to around $125 million. A Bear Stearns report estimated YouTube revenues at around $90 million for 2008. I’m not sure if $120 million-$125 million is going to make Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who has been publicly talking about YouTube and its money-making potential, happy.

What stands between YouTube and money is the lawsuit by Viacom, as it makes owners of legitimate content a tad nervous. There’s clearly money in partnership content. I was recently talking to some folks that are close to Hulu.com, and they pointed out that thanks to all the legit content, the demand for ads on the site is pretty high; the company, they said, could easily do about $25 million in revenues. Given how little traffic they have in comparison to YouTube, that’s an impressive number. Of course it doesn’t move the needle for its primary backers, NBC and News Corp.

In comparison, the number of visitors to YouTube continues to rise, making it by far the most dominant player in the market. So much so that even Hulu decided to set up a channel on YouTube to attract traffic to their site.

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  1. I have worked with Shashi and think that he is a rock star! The Product Managers who worked for him are all very sad that he left, and I personally know that many other folks who worked with him are very sad to see him go.

  2. Jimmyy The Junior Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    Is this “$80 million in 2007″ pure profit, or the total income? And i also guess they will make more money in 2008, after all Google,who happens to own YouTube, determines how much a site should get from Adsense,right?

  3. Three Blog Posts In Progress – Advice for Generalists, Why Marketplaces Rule, and Why Video is Tough | Charles Hudson’s Weblog Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    [...] in 2008 with dominant traffic and leadership, shouldn’t we all be really concerned? Check out this brief article on how the head of monetization at YouTube just stepped [...]

  4. I heard he had a falling out with that skateboarding Bulldog. He is the real rockstar, and could not work with this guy.

  5. @ Jimmy

    That’s the revenue for the year, not profit.

  6. Lost Remote » YouTube’s head of revenue leaves for startup Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    [...] Shashi Seth is heading to Cooliris, not Facebook, where several Google execs have landed recently. YouTube revenues have been in the spotlight lately because of remarks by Google CEO Eric Schmidt. [...]

  7. Pilgrim’s Picks for June 3 – Late, Late Edition Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    [...] lost another exec. This time, YouTube’s head of monetization, Shashi Seth, is leaving the company for start-up Cooliris, claiming, "Google got a little big for [...]

  8. I don’t get it. Youtube could be making billions of dollars right now. It should be bigger then AdSense for text the day they switch on the overlay advertising option for all Youtube producers, not only the very large (more than 1 million views a month) producers having text based ads on the right side of the html page.

    I also don’t understand why Youtube doesn’t use voice-recognition technology to generate transcripts automatically as well as translate that to provide searchable subtitles in all languages.

    They’ve been talking about $15 per thousand views for overlay advertising (Revver style) popping up at the bottom 1/5th of the video. This should work for embedded videos as well.

    Youtube should let all content providers even small independent ones make those up to $15 per 1000 views for choosing to activate the overlay ads. This would improve the quality of the content put on Youtube enormously. This would instantly convince all TV show producers as well to put their full length episodes on Youtube instead of Hulu or any alternatives.

    I think they have a responsibillity to start the true online TV and media revolution. Once independent freelance artists and reporters can start to make a living publishing on Youtube, this will immediately change the whole TV industry, this will also influence elections for the better.

  9. Doing a quick calculation, based on the current 4 billion views per month, Google and the Youtube content providers could be making 2 billion dollars per year just on Youtube activity if they activated that overlay advertising option now. (only Youtube content providers who activate it would display it on their videos).

    And since the quality of the content would skyrocket the day putting quality videos on Youtube makes money, the view count could also increase even further to tens of billions of views per month.

  10. Any info on adoption rate of youtube and hulu ?

    I guess youtube is more popular in emerging countries compared to hulu which is more popular in the usa

    And Hulu has a great future coz I just love the quality of videos on Hulu .. Would they go the subscription way ?

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