YouTube says it's now serving up two billion videos a day, and keeping users on the site for an average of about 15 minutes each day. It reached the one billion mark in October. In a late-night Sunday blog post, Google announced its latest milestone and launched a "YouTube Five Year Channel" that features users describing how YouTube has had an impact on their lives. YouTube users now upload more than 24 hours of video to the site every minute.
Could this be the year the video hub finally turns the corner and makes Google boatloads of money? Could be. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, following January's earnings call, told a Financial Times writer he believes 2010 could be the year it turns a profit. During an earlier call with analysts he also said YouTube 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."
Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney in March was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that by 2011, YouTube could generate more than $1.1 billion in revenues and that it would gross just under $1 billion this year.
The New York Times wrote today that YouTube, which Google bought for $1.65 billion in 2006, may turn out to be the search giant's smartest acquisition as the site evolves from being "known primarily for skateboard-riding cats, dancing geeks and a variety of cute-baby high jinks," to now featuring "a smorgasbord of more professional video that is drawing ever larger and more engaged audiences."
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