RTS Cambridge. Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt has defended the company against charges that it takes video content for free without giving anything back to its creators.
“We’re beginning to invest a fair amount, as YouTube becomes profitable more and more of the money we have made will be piled back into content,” Schmidt told the Royal Television Society in Cambridge. Painting a picture of 10 to 15 years time, Schmidt said that advertising models for content would sit alongside micropayments and subscription models. “We’re going to go all out on all of them to ensure that if you have great content, as people in your society do, then you can decide if you want it to be advertising supported or if you want people to pay a subscription”.
Schmidt said that the company paid between $5 and $6 billion back to content providers through its Adsense product, targeted advertising pods, which he believes will over time become more profitable than the standard banners used by Google. “Our goal is to make large amounts of money for our content partners and if you assume that the UK represents 15% of that business then they have made around $500 million already.
Despite the popularity of YouTube, Schmidt admitted that much of the user generated content uploaded to the site would only appeal to immediate family. “The experiment is over and it is very clear that the average person who produces user generated content does not have the skills of the people in this room, just look at the video.” Schmidt estimated that only 90% of video content was capable of being monetised.
However, Schmidt was adamant that Google was not going to emulate the likes of Bebo and MySpace by directly commissioning its own content: “The closer we get to that the more worried I get. We are a technology company.”