The YouTube Reel Deel (Clearing Some of The Air Around YouTube)

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YouTube seems to think that we’re not exactly up to speed on what it is they are doing over there. Apparently they don’t like the pigeonhole they have been put into as just user-generated, short-form, low-quality, freely available video with no revenue channels or monetization (not that we ever said they were any of that mind you). So in an effort to help change people’s attitudes they did a little myth busting of late. I’ve pulled that together with some other stuff to help you see the ‘Reel Deel” over at YouTube.

While they did start out as just a user-content video sharing site they have gone above and beyond that nowadays and are offering up all sorts of video goodies for you to consume with your morning coffee or while slacking off at work. In fact at present they have several hundred full-length feature films and thousands of television shows that will help you pass those night shifts in the Network Operations Center. In fact a new film, The Princess of Nebraska, was premiered at the site. So it’s not just about home-brew content from webcams and mobile phones anymore though there is still a sizable amount of that available as well.

Another fairly popular myth is about the quality of videos that are available on YouTube. However, as ReelSEO has reported in the past, they are now supporting HD videos and we even talked about the best encoding and practices to make sure your HD video shows up right. We even told you about the cool tags they’ve added to fix those videos that are showing up in the wrong aspect ratio on the site. So obviously the videos aren’t piss poor quality anymore. Now that all depends on what device the video is coming from and the original quality of the video. So not all videos are HD there, but they certainly can be.

Another myth is that there is no revenue channel and no monetization of those videos on YouTube. But that would be a gross miscalculation. Advertisers have been flocking to YouTube of late. They have bought space on the home page, in overlays, in the video streams themselves and even begun sponsoring portions of the pages like the Promoted Videos area. Anyone who says there’s no money in YouTube needs to turn off their ad blocker and go look again. In regards to getting those ad dollars into the hands of the content creators, YouTube has that under control as well as ReelSEO already reported.

But just how much is YouTube making? What’s their turnover and profit margin? Google is being mum on that (no surprise right?) and not coughing up hard numbers at present. They talk about monetization views tripling and the trajectory for the service being on track and a lot of other executive double speak that adds up to just one thing – We don’t know. Some people have claimed that running the service could cost upwards of $500 million while others place that as the high end of their incoming revenue which would mean it’s losing money or breaking even. Without real data though, it’s all hearsay.

Speaking of monetized views, it’s been said over and over that they are only monetizing 3-5% of the site. But they recently said that monetized views have tripled. Does that mean they are then only monetizing 9-15% of the site? This is another one of those murky areas that Google doesn’t like to get into. However, if we do some quick math, 15% of say 7 billion worldwide views, is still possibly, a billion monetized views. That could then add up to a billion pennies, or a billion dollars, depending on what advertisers are paying I guess.

Now I’m not paid by YouTube, frankly, I hardly even use them personally. But I’m just trying to clean up some of the bad air surrounding YouTube. Of course the source of much of that bad air is indeed the Google executives themselves. Every time someone in media or journalism asks them about YouTube we get conflicting reports, vague hand-waving rhetoric or no comment whatsoever. How about they just stack up all the pennies, count them out and then simply say whether or not it is profitable. That one simple sentence could certainly go a long way towards their PR and maybe even bring in a whole slew of new clients, advertisers and more.


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