It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube was mostly a haven for the video expressions of teens and young adults; popular clips often showed skateboard crashes, air guitar contests, and bedroom renditions of Numa Numa. But now, as the site continues to grow in popularity, it seems YouTube is finally turning into a serious business and money-making platform.
First, let’s talk about growth. TechCrunch reports on new ComScore numbers that show YouTube is the second biggest search engine behind Google; it gets more searches than Yahoo and accounts for more than 25% of Google’s search queries. Just last week, we reported here on Search Engine Land about YouTube’s video market share dominance.
Second, let’s talk about the platform itself. YouTube just announced two new changes that serve as signs-of-the-times:
- Easier access to HD video content via a new HD Videos category
- New “landing pages” for news, music, and movies; the News landing page, for example, will feature breaking video news worldwide, as well as videos from Google News stories
Third, let’s talk about the business aspects of YouTube. CNET spoke this week with Universal Music, the biggest music label in the land, and learned that the label is making “tens of millions of dollars” through its partnership with YouTube. Universal posts its artists’ music videos on YouTube and shares the ad revenue from those videos with Google; they also share revenue on user-uploaded music videos. Says Universal’s Rio Caraeff, “(YouTube) is not like radio, where it’s just promotional. It’s a revenue stream, a commercial business.”
(Added Monday, Dec. 22: Reuters reports that Warner Brothers has pulled its music videos from YouTube due to a contract dispute.)
PaidContent.org points out, though, that YouTube will still only account for about 1% of Google’s overall revenue this year.
Just as it dominates search, Google also owns the ad-serving market, according to an AdAge article. The article cites a study by content-tracking firm Attributor that credits Google about 57% of ad-serving market share. The number is a combination of text ads shown via AdSense and display ads shown by DoubleClick (which Google bought earlier this year). The report notes, however, that both AdSense and DoubleClick are down (9% and 3%, respectively) since the last time this study was done. Yahoo placed third at 10%, and Microsoft fifth with 4% of ad server market share.
And finally, in this all-Google Search Biz, Wired reports that Google is closing down its Science Data Service — before the service had even been formally launched. Formally known as Google Research Datasets, the project’s aim was to give scientists a place to store massive amounts of data (from tests/experiments/studies/etc.). The Google email to beta testers hinted that the program has fallen victim to continued re-focusing and belt-tightening at Google.