YouTube Gets New Leadership in its Quest for Ad Domination

YouTube is poised to be one of Google’s biggest assets with potential for billions of dollars in ad revenue, and the video site now has new leadership tasked with making that a reality. Long-time Google exec Susan Wojcicki, formerly SVP of advertising and commerce and one of the company’s earliest employees, is reported to be the new SVP in charge of YouTube. The video site has more viewers than any other like it, and it will be Wojcicki’s job to compete more with TV for ad dollars.

According to Businessweek, in the last three months of 2013, 30 percent of all of the minutes spent watching videos online in the U.S. were spent watching YouTube. (That’s the equivalent of more than 200,000 minutes.) By comparison, Netflix — which came in second in terms of viewing time — has about 5 percent of the market. Google also claims its daily viewing time grew by 50 percent.

It’ll be up to Wojcicki to get an increasing amount of quality videos on the site, “whether that’s by airing original shows, as Netflix and Amazon have done, or by pursuing deals with well-known content providers such as the NFL,” the article says. It notes that keeping individual videomakers happy will also be important, as many popular channels depend on YouTube for their livelihoods.

“In 2006, Wojcicki was in charge of a struggling unit called Google Video that was getting killed by a startup called YouTube,” reports San Jose Mercury News. “She convinced Google’s board to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion.”

Nikesh Arora, Google’s chief business officer, told investors that the site is in its “infancy in the amount of advertising they can support, vis-à-vis the amount of usage we’re getting.” Businessweek says Google and other sites like it “have to go through the messy, human process of convincing advertisers and the agencies that control their budgets to take money away from television and put it into online video.” That won’t be an easy feat, though more quality videos on the site will help convince advertisers with a more traditional approach.

Wojcicki previously worked at Intel and replaces Salar Kamangar, who is reported to be transitioning into another role at Google, The Hollywood Reporter says.

Currently, YouTube “makes up about 20 percent of the overall online video ad market and drew $5.6 billion in ad revenue last year,” reports Businessweek.