Google’s (GOOG) huge video-sharing site YouTube drew enough people to have 100 billion videos viewed in January.
The question is whether anyone in the media world, particularly the internet, TV, or film businesses really cares.
According to comScore , “U.S. Internet users viewed 14.8 billion online videos during the month, representing an increase of 4 percent versus December 2008. YouTube led the growth charge, accounting for 91 percent of the incremental gain in the number of videos viewed versus December, as it surpassed 100 million viewers for the first time.” The only site among the top ten which has a real model to make money is Hulu.com, which is controlled by several major media companies, but its share of market is only 1.7% to YouTube’s 42.9%.
On the heels of the announcement about the online video audience getting bigger came news that YouTube may begin to host music videos from Universal Music. YouTube should be able to get premium prices for the advertising that runs next to this content, but it probably does not matter much.
The huge majority of the video on YouTube is homemade and has low resolution. Among the most popular clips on the site over the last month are a man eating 22 scorpions and a woman breaking down after missing her flight at an airport. That is just the kind of content marketers want to see their ads next to.
One hundred billion views a month and nothing to show for it other than amateur content.
Douglas A. McIntyre