Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

BREAKING: YouTube Still Isn't Profitable. But It Will Be, Says Google. Again.

Officially, Google doesn’t talk about YouTube’s profitability, or lack thereof. Except, of course, when Google executives do talk about it.

Then they say that YouTube is very close to becoming profitable.

That’s what CFO Patrick Pichette said in July 2009. And that’s what sales boss Nikesh Arora said in July of this year. And that’s what CEO Eric Schmidt said today, according to Dow Jones Newswires:

“YouTube is ‘nearing profitability and its revenue is doing quite well,’ Schmidt told journalists at the sidelines of a conference at the French university SciencesPo. ‘It looks like it’s going to be very successful,’ he said.”

Okay. So does anyone want to guess when, if ever, Google will tell us that YouTube is actually profitable?


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work