Some people like to have death watches, others like to have jelly watches, some like to have Rolex watches and some just like to watch (pervs!). Us? we like to have the YouTube Profitability watch. Alright, so I made that last part up but really it's the question on everyone's minds isn't it? Well everyone who is not concerned about Rolexes or death I guess.Chad Hurley, as in Founder and CEO of YouTube,that YouTube has had two 'spectacular quarters' but declined to comment on the company's revenue (probably the prime directive of his GoogleBot programming). While we know that parent company Google has more than enough money to throw away on something the size of YouTube, we also know they are masters of monetization, so it's unlikely that they are and even if they are [throwing money down the gaping maw of YouTube] it would be with a plan to monetize.
Now we know there's money in YouTube. Terrestrial broadcasters have been jumping on the YouTube bandwagon all year and offering up content to the masses. Two UK broadcasters already are as are some US-based outfits. Partners over at the site are reeling in paychecks from ads shown on their original content. Ads that are most likely coming from Google and Adsense which means it's a revenue share and they [Google/YouTube] are certainly seeing a percentage of the profits (most likely the larger portion no less). Even if the content producers are not signing lucrative deals to have YouTube distribute their video I know they are paying something. Think of the bandwidth cost they would save by having YouTube do it and you can see why I think they're paying, not to mention the infrastructure that would be required to provide all that video.
No I'm fairly certain YouTube is already making money. But is it profitable? On the other end of the balance is that hefty infrastructure and badnwidth bill to dump all that video to viewers around the world. Hell, the cost of content delivery alone is probably enough to shoot you into space a couple dozen times and fund several medium-sized countries (or an entire continent of third-world countries for that matter). Surely you don't believe that Google is just taking all of their profits and pouring it into a content delivery scheme that is not or will not payoff, do you?
Any type of shareholder would have a fit if that were the case. No, there must be money there and it is either profitable or will be soon. Of course this could have been easily answered if someone were to take a video of the watches of the YouTube Executive army, if they're all gold-plated Rolexes, then you know it's money in the bank and profits on the rise. We'll continue to watch (both for profitability and their content) and keep you apprised of what we think.
Really, it's just so much fun to speculate about it sometimes, who cares if they ever answer the question. Well, if they wanted to come and whisper it in my ear, I would be more than happy to let everyone else know on their behalf. Gee, I wonder who in YouTube reads ReelSEO? I know some people with Google email addresses do, but I have yet to see an honest-to-goodness youtube.com email show up in my inbox here, won't that be something exiciting to watch out for?