Interesting piece up at News.com about YouTube and the phenomenal success it has been having, at least in terms of traffic. No one is quite sure how they are going to make money, or if they have staying power, but they certainly do not have a lack of users:
According to numbers provided by traffic-tracking company ComScore Networks, YouTube received 4.2 million unique visitors in February. Those numbers are good enough to outpace Apple Computer’s iTunes (3.5 million) and put it within spitting distance of eBaumsworld.com (4.4 million) and AOL Video (4.7 million), both of which have been in business longer.
Personally, I think YouTube is going to run into very big problems. Lately when I have been on the site, I have come across a lot of videos that display a “removed due to copyright infringement” message, and I can only guess that it will get worse before it gets any better.
Like most Web 2.0 companies, they plan to use advertising to make money:
“We’re experimenting with different business models,” she said. “It’s not going to be a traditional model, that is for sure. Right now, we don’t want to disrupt the user experience. But eventually, we’re going to introduce extremely relevant ads that will benefit users and won’t disrupt the service.”
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it here again – Google is an anomaly. I don’t think advertising is a truly sustainable business model, and even if it works for YouTube, they’ll never reach the levels that Google has. I think they need something besides simply advertising to truly make it.
Read: CNET News.com