Google CEO Schmidt says 2010 is year YouTube turns a profit

Google CEO Eric Schmidt says he thinks YouTube will turn a profit in 2010. If so, it would be the site's first since Google acquired it for $1.65 billion in 2006. The Financial Times said Schmidt delivered a somewhat less-than resounding vote of confidence in YouTube following Google's earnings call with analysts last week.

During the call Google execs had commented that YouTube advertising had seen strong growth in Q4, with CFO Patrick Pichette telling analysts: "(YouTube's) homepage was nearly sold out in Q4 and that was a great testimony of the power of YouTube and we are now running ads in 20 countries worldwide so again to give you a sense of perspective of how successful YouTube has been." Following the call, an FT reporter asked Schmidt if that meant YouTube would be profitable in 201. Schmidt's response: "I'd assume so, yes."

Schmidt said a major driver this year would be the adoption of major advertisers of YouTube as a component of ad campaigns. "Nowadays, just about every advertising campaign involves YouTube as part of the solution. That's a big deal," he said.

During the earnings call Schmidt, who usually ballpark's YouTube's numbers, declined to give any metrics. Instead, he told analysts: "What I can say is the big shift we are continuing to see on YouTube is that it has gone from being a nice thing to have to an essential part of the media mix of any display campaign that our advertisers are planning."

For more:
- see this FT blog post

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