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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Can Big Media Pals Help YouTube Turn a Profit?

So according to an analysis by Credit Suisse, Google will lose about $470 million this year operating YouTube. Clearly, selling ads around user-generated and illegally-posted content isn't really working.

Plan B seems to be trying the strategy that Google's own Google Video site tried a few years back: bring in some professional media partners, offer up longer-form shows, and possibly even experimenting with paid downloads and subscriptions a la iTunes. (There's also pre-roll advertising in front of the new content, which YouTube's founders had sworn they'd never do.)

Those are all worth trying, but YouTube will need a broader selection of content than CBS' "Harper's Island" and the 1980 feature film "The Blue Lagoon." (Though there are a couple good Werner Herzog films available...)

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