Why Google wants YouTube independent

Why is Google keeping YouTube independent?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

“YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand and passionate community,” Google put forth in announcing its acquisition of YouTube:

YouTube will retain its distinct brand identity, strengthening and complementing Google's own fast-growing video business.

I heard Suzie Reider, CMO YouTube, assert in NYC days before the acquisition officially closed that marketers wouldn’t be allowed to “mess up” YouTube. I pointed out New Year’s Eve, however, that marketers are indeed making themselves known at YouTube: SEE “Google + Chevrolet: ‘Have a YouTube New Year!’

Why is Google keeping YouTube independent? So it can profit from marketers “messing up.”

Google famously does not allow marketers to “mess up” Google. The Google corporate philosophy lists “Ten things Google has found to be true.”

Number one is “Focus on the user”:

Google has steadfastly refused to make any change that does not offer a benefit to the users who come to the site: The interface is clear and simple…Advertising on the site must offer relevant content and not be a distraction.

Number six is “You can make money without doing evil”:

Google does not allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they're relevant to the results page on which they're shown….Google firmly believes that ads can provide useful information if, and only if, they are relevant to what you wish to find. Google has also proven that advertising can be effective without being flashy.

Google apparently believes its “ten things” it has “found to be true” are not entirely applicable to its YouTube property. Since Google took over YouTube, changes were made benefiting advertising revenues, but not necessarily the YouTube “community”:

Advertising on YouTube does not always offer relevant content,
Advertising at YouTube can be a distraction,
Advertising at YouTube is sometimes flashy.

In “Google + Chevrolet: ‘Have a YouTube New Year!’” I present a screenshot of brand marketer Chevrolet’s “takeover” of the YouTube homepage.

Below is a screen shot of the youtube.com/members page with a very large, flashing banner hawking “Get the next generation of Smileys!”


Google’s acquisition of YouTube shrewdly enables Google to sell all manner of online advertising that it has restrained itself from profiting from at Google.com properties.

With YouTube, Google finds itself in the best of all advertising sales worlds. Google is able to continue its lofty “do no (advertising) evil” public stance at 50%+ search market share Google while indeed doing advertising “evil” freely and profitably at its wholly-owned YouTube.

ALSO: Does Google play fair? and Scoring Google on quality

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