YouTube is the most popular video-upload site on the planet, but its popularity looks likely to have some monetary repercussions in 2009.
A report by Credit Suisse has found that the website is haemorrhaging money, due to high bandwidth costs and a lack of key advertising.
According to the report, Google, the owners of YouTube, will have spent around $711 million (£476 million) on bandwidth, licensing content, sharing its ad-revenue, storage, sales and marketing by the end of the year.
Total revenue for the company looks set to be $240 million (£160 million). Although this is a 20 per cent increase year on year, it does leave a whopping deficit of around $470 million (£350 million).
"In our view, the issue for YouTube going forward is to increase the percentage of its videos that can be monetised (likely through more deals with content companies) and to drive more advertiser demand through standardisation of ad formats and improved ad effectiveness," Credit Suisse analysts Spencer Wang and Kenneth Sena wrote in their report.
The problem with this is finding advertising which is acceptable to users of the site. Unfortunately, it looks like YouTube has already sparked a minor revolt in its recent advertising methods.
Users are campaigning against this on the site's comments and by lowering the rating of content which features pre-rolls. Mashable has also noted that YouTube is using bigger banner ads.
Getting the balance right between advertising and content is a huge one on any website.
While this was not an issue when YouTube first began just three years ago, now it has gone legit, stripping itself of any unauthorised content, Google needs to make sure more than ever that both its sponsors and users are happy.
Especially with the likes of Hulu nipping at its toes.
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