Bit Rate

YouTube Still Searching For Monetizing Magic

11/13/2008 7:51 AM

YouTube keeps casting about for ways to turn clicks into kopeks. 

The Internet’s No. 1 video destination serves up a gazillion views (specifically - 5 billion in July 2008, according to comScore) but has been frustrated in trying to convert that into cash.

The latest attempt is to mimic Google’s core business: YouTube wants to sell ads on its search results pages. The idea is to let content owners promote their videos on the site, with YouTube auctioning off keywords to the highest bidder.

YouTube also is adding long-form, professionally produced content, through deals with CBS and MGM, and last month announced an e-commerce program to link from its videos to partners including and Apple’s iTunes Store.

The truth is, though, most of YouTube’s content is useless inventory. Earlier this year, the WSJ reported that only 4% of YouTube clips are suitable for selling against because of copyrights and other issues.

The copious amount of user-generated dreck on the site is deftly skewered by The Onion, which reports on a YouTube contest seeking a video that can "provide even a shred of enjoyment for people other than those who made the video" (notice, too, that the clip has an ad):

YouTube Contest Challenges Users To Make A ‘Good’ Video 

(Thanks to Dave Zatz for The Onion link!)