Blog Post

Schmidt to YouTube: Good Job, Keep Trying

Google (s GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, who previously called figuring out how to make money on YouTube the “holy grail” and “our highest priority this year” (back in 2008), has a new appraisal of the enormous video site’s monetization efforts: halfway there. “We’re not where we need to be, but we’re much farther along than we were last year,” he said.

As part of an interview last week on The Charlie Rose Show, Schmidt indicated that he was waiting for Google employees to have a flash of insight to figure out advertising on user-generated content, which he called “the defining expression of humanity over the next 10 to 20 years.” Google needs a UGC monetization breakthrough, and doesn’t know what it will be, Schmidt said. “It has to occur naturally through the bottoms-up process. So we’re waiting.” (Thanks to TechCrunch for posting the transcript.)

Schmidt also brought up the development of recommendations and preferences for mobile TV watchers. He indicated a desire for a “personal viewing experience,” complaining, “When I turn on the television, it shows the same shows that I saw yesterday, and I watch them, and it doesn’t know that I watched them yesterday. What a foolish television. Why is it not smarter?” Is that just Schmidt’s little gripe or indication of a coming focus on mobile video? Guess it depends on when and where the flash of insight hits Googlers next.