To illustrate the diversity of video uploads, the company posted a dozen clips in a blog post, with titles such as "At grandpa's house," "In a Cambodian liquor store," "Observing carnivorous plants," and "At a wedding." Any of those sound like potential TV hits? Or viral hits? Maybe not.
Proponents of mobile video may point to the YouTube figures as a further sign of the growing market for video on handheld devices. Nielsen recently reported that mobile video viewership increased 52.2% in the last year, to 13.4 million monthly users in the first quarter of 2009. But when it comes to expanding mobile advertising, adding more user-generated inventory to mobile TV won't help much. After all, YouTube is still trying to figure out how to monetize video on the wired Web.
Its biggest push lately to boost advertising has been to strike deals with with the likes of MGM, CBS, ABC and Sony for full-length shows and movies. The shift away from user-submitted clips toward professional content is part of a wider trend online as video-sharing sites look for new ways to generate ad revenue. And despite the novelty factor, marketers aren't likely to find uploaded clips any more attractive as ad vehicles on mobile than online.