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Google eyes future YouTube investment following substantial 2015 growth

Google has remained silent on the topic of YouTube for far too long, but the new chief financial officer Ruth Porat is breaking some of the silence. News of large growth on mobile (opens in new tab), minutes viewed per day, ads clicked and ad space bought are all up by over 40 per cent since last year.

Even though Porat spoke on the positive, YouTube’s profit remains a mystery. The video streaming service makes around $4 billion (£2.5 billion) in revenue every quarter, but most of that is spent on data centers and ad-sharing partnerships.

Similar numbers were revealed by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki earlier this month (opens in new tab), but Wojcicki also denied to tell anyone about the profit. It does make it seem like the situation is worse than breaking even, perhaps dipping into the negative.

Even with the poor profit, Google is definitely focused on building YouTube worldwide. It has over one billion users, around a third of the Internet population. That would be even higher, had Google not fell out of favour with the Chinese government.

YouTube has plans to invest more heavily in data centers, to make sure the cost is cut slightly. New innovative methods for data centers, alongside cleaner energy, could save Google millions in the long-term.

Outside of the infrastructure, YouTube plans to launch a streaming service specifically for gaming (opens in new tab) and two subscription services. One will be focused on music, named YouTube Music Key, for £7.99. It will allow ad-free music streaming, background play and audio only.

The other, which neither Wojcicki or Porat would get into when speaking, is focused on subscription per channel to a complete removal of ads for £10 per month (opens in new tab). YouTube may still be testing business model before launching the subscription service.

Google is also focusing on building its advertising platform for mobile, a step behind Facebook and Yahoo who are both investing heavily. It will continue to work on moonshots, but the news Porat is trying to tie all of the loose ends at the company has sent its share price flying, for the first time in 10 months.

Source: Google (opens in new tab)

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.