Preston Lau: Update on YouTube
Jul 16, 2008
Preston Lau, General Manager of Google in Hong Kong presented an update on YouTube at the Broadband World Forum Asia 2008.
- YouTube’s biggest categories: Humor (75%), Music (54%) News (46%). (I think these numbers add up to more than 100 percent because you can select more than one category per video.)
- Two thirds of Google traffic is non-US. Age distribution is fairly evenly, until 55 yrs old when use drops off.
- Only 50 percent of YouTube viewers watch to end of video.
- One third of people leaving a movie say they searched for the movie they just saw. 61 percent used Google and 60 percent said their decision was affected by what they found. (Presume this is a US Survey)
- One of Hong Kong’s most successful YouTube channels, run by TV station TVB, has built-in interactivity. Users request uploads of programs via video and receive responses from staff. TVB’s YouTube channel has become one of the top YouTube channels in Hong Kong. (Congrats to Ivy Wong!)
- Hong Kong, population roughly seven million, is one of the world’s top five in the world for YouTube – in absolute terms – for uploading and viewing videos.
- YouTube’s API has inspired a number of interesting features, including the Apple iPhone’s ability to browse YouTube’s video library and allowing gamers on Sony Playstation to share their in-game experiences. YouTube pets (pictured above) is another cool application of the YouTube API.
Preston faced repeated questions from the audience at Broadband World Forum to explain YouTube’s business model.
Questions included: How will YouTube make money? Since YouTube consumes so much bandwidth from ISPs and soon from mobile phone companies, shouldn’t YouTube pay its own way?
Preston gave a lengthy answer that did not appear to satisfy the audience.
A fellow panelist, Chris Lau of SmarTone-Vodafone, stepped in: “To answer your question: Nobody knows where the money will come from, but the money does have to come from somewhere.”
Another panelist, Jeffrey Soong of Broadband Network Systems offered an interesting riff about online advertising:
Advertisers are not yet spending the amounts that the digital world deserves, but when they do decide to spend, there are actually few places for them to go.
Even those agencies spending money online prefer to be associated with branded content, rather than the rough and tumble of user generated content.
One solution is the Mullet approach developed by MySpace: For the wary executives you make a sober opening page, like the short hair in the front of a Mullet haircut. In the back, you have the long hair where real users go.