Not too many people would contest YouTube’s assertion that it has a very large audience worldwide, but just for good measure, the six-year-old company is flaunting some figures: apparently it receives 800 million unique visitors from across the globe each month. But to its naked dismay, there’s a glaring incongruity between its huge audience and the percentage of ad dollars it’s getting from businesses. These latter folk are not ponying up the money because while 38 percent of their advertising dollars are doled out gladly for old-school tube publicity, only a paltry one percent allocation is made for online video.
YouTube is more than ready to tilt the balance. To do as much, the company has poached itself some new talent: Lucas Watson, former head of digital business strategy at Procter & Gamble. Watson is now vice president of online video global sales at YouTube. The regroup kindles the video-sharing site’s prospects for gaining more advertising money, but all is not all certain. While advertising companies are waking up and inviting people with online video knowledge on board their ships, YouTube is losing ground as the dominant force of personalized advertising through online video because television itself is hooking up to the web.