Posted by: Steve Coplan | September 28, 2006

To YouTube or not to YouTube

One of the most heated topics in the Web 2.0 blogosphere is how YouTube can monetize its traffic. I am no longer in the business of offering advice for tuppence and a pat on the back, so I’ll won’t offer my opinion. I will observe, however, that YouTube is largely a proof of concept for online video as a content category. Building relationships with content owners obviously solves the near term problem of covering the costs of bandwidth and storage, but doesn’t come close to addressing what I call ‘view velocity’. Expressed in other terms, people will watch any kind of crap, but it’s difficult to consistently predict what crap they will watch. On the other hand, YouTube can’t segment audiences based on content unless it segments through ‘channels’ (much like AOL did in the old ‘walled garden’ days). Blogs with consistent audiences and with thousands of subscribers via feeds do.

On Friday last week, my coworker emailed me the link to this YouTube video. I clicked on it and noticed it had about 30,000 views. When I perused Keith’s blog on Tuesday and saw his entry on the clip, it had generated close to 1 million views. By now it has generated close to 1.3 million views (Oh and by the way , it is Tamil. The retroflex consonants are a dead giveaway). Now astounding as that is, this clip of a bunch of geeks popping and locking that Keith has uncovered has generated over 1.5 million views since February. A lot of money is being left on the table here — even if these calculations from Fred Wilson are way off — but even the combined wisdom of the YouTube folks and the content owners can’t predict outcomes like this.

Postscript: now up to 2.2m views.



  1. i am singlehandedly responsible for at least 2,500 hits for “little superstar.”

  2. yes you tube is now many people can monetize alot

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