When will YouTube be profitable? “In the not-too-distant future,” said Google CFO Patrick Pichette on today’s quarterly earnings call, same as he said last quarter. He did offer a “sound bite” to appease investors and industry watchers: “We’re monetizing more than a billion video views every week on YouTube.” That’s out of “well over” a billion views that YouTube recently said it gets every day. So, let’s put on our fuzzy and unauthorized math thinking cap: There are seven days in a week. YouTube is monetizing in the neighborhood of 14 percent of its total views.
Google’s Nikesh Arora, president of global sales operations and business development, noted campaigns on YouTube’s home page have been undertaken with 90 percent of the top 50 advertisers. He said 90 percent of YouTube’s home-page inventory was sold out in the third quarter. Further, YouTube is beginning to release pre-roll inventory to advertisers — not the most-liked format for watchers or many in the industry, but a good way to make money. And the site is getting more premium content; it tied up a deal with Channel 4 this morning and straightened out its relationships with the music labels in recent weeks.
“In general we’re really pleased about YouTube’s performance — it is going very well,” said Pichette. Arora added: “We’re pleased with our ability to monetize YouTube so far, and we like the trend.”