A quick note about YouTube. I’ve seen a few posts/articles recently that talk about how to monetize all that traffic. Some believe that the answer lies in inserting brief ads in front of some/all YouTube videos. Let me just say that this would be a huge mistake. YouTube is all about rapid consumption of a specific chunk of video. Most videos within the site seem to average around 2-5 minutes. If you put a 15-30 second ad in front of these clips, the audience is going to move on to a site that does not insert ads in front of their content.
Now, I know a lot of other sites do insert ads and still have good traffic numbers, but if I have a choice of watching the video on YouTube without ads, or on iFilm with ads, I’m going to YouTube. The relative traffic between sites with and without ads I think bears out that other have been making the same calculation. This might be part of the reason why Revver, who on paper should have a better model than YouTube, is not seeing anywhere near the traffic growth of other ad-free video steaming services.
The only way to monetize this traffic is to look at the streaming function as a loss leader. It’s a marketing vehicle. Instead, provide higher quality versions of videos that can be downloaded on different devices. Within these higher quality packages you could insert targeted ads or charge a pay-per-view fee. I think most consumers would be willing to accept that. But ad insertion in front of existing low quality streams would be the end of YouTube’s traffic growth.