Beyond Google’s second-quarter earnings report, there was bad news and semi-good news for the company’s shareholders this week. The bad: YouTube, almost four years after Google spent $1.65 billion on it, still hasn’t turned a profit. The good (if you believe it): the site is supposed to be in the black before long.
According to Paul Kedrosky, Google executive Nikesh Arora said at the Fortune Brainstorm conference yesterday, "YouTube is on the verge of imminent profitability."
Of course, very important people representing Google and YouTube have promised time and time again that the site will be profitable, and they’ve occasionally hinted at almost immediate timeframes while they’re at it. This may not be any different.
Then one other problem is that the phrase "on the verge of imminent" (to which Kedrosky responded, "Wazzat?") implies YouTube is more than a single step away from becoming profitable.
Still, Arora holds the title "President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development," which should put him in the thick of things; not a lot of folks are likely to have a better idea of what YouTube’s advertising efforts have accomplished and where they’re headed.
As a result, Google fans can perhaps continue to hope that YouTube will cross a financial threshold in the near future.