There has been some discussion recently about the decline in importance of YouTube. This is crazy talk," Alex Rowland writes. " YouTube is only going to become more central to the online video ecosystem over the next year." Indeed, YouTube isn't going anywhere, but ultimately YouTube is thriving as a promotional vehicle for media companies and becoming a meaningful commercial unit in Google's business, but not for anyone else. In some ways, YouTube is turning into a fantastic acquisition for Google, but increasingly it is becoming a mere shadow of what its potential once was.