October 29, 2009

Bono boost for YouTube

YouTube is on a roll at the moment, which looks like being a good thing for users, advertisers and agencies alike after a period of what felt like continual negative press.

The video-sharing website has revealed it got close to 10m streams for a live broadcast of a U2’s Rosebowl concert on Sunday, meaning it was the single largest event the site has streamed to date.

Given that the 20th most watched show in the US last week attracted 11.8m viewers (The Mentalist), the U2 YouTube audience gives you an idea of the site’s enormous reach and the type of league it is now playing in. Admittedly, the 10m figure, which was spread over 2+ hours, doesn’t drill down to how many people actually watched the broadcast.

However, after repeated questions being asked about YouTube’s ability to monetise its huge popularity, it’s nice to see things moving in a positive direction.

The U2 concert comes hot on the heels of the Google-owned site announcing earlier this month that it now serving up more than 1bn streams per day. And don’t forget Channel 4’s recent decision to put its entire programming output on YouTube free of charge and the introduction of Google’s AdSense for YouTube’s search.

With sites like Hulu breathing down YouTube’s neck, it’s great to see YouTube fighting fit. Healthy competition between these sites — unlike the search arena where Google has a far easier ride — is proving beneficial for everyone.