I had breakfast this morning with Suzie Reider who started as YouTube's CMO four weeks ago. Suzie most recently oversaw C/Net's entertainment portfolio and had done truly pioneering UGC work with the Gamespot.com community. Not only does she get the community/user experience side, but she also really gets what advertisers want and will buy.
She said that Eric Schmidt told them that the plan is to run Google as an independent company with Google there to support as needed. Suzie and the other YouTubers are focused on building the organization to accomplish all the potential discussed in so many places this week. Given how much their 37 person organization needs to grow, I suspect that over the next 6-12 months they will be pretty conservative in terms of the ad products that roll out to the market while the focus on the fundamentals of scaled media company — inventory management, ad ops, billing, revenue recognition, etc. In the mean time, it seems like the primary ad products will continue to be:
- Display ads on highly trafficked pages
- Custom sponsorships/brand channels
- Pay for distribution of "Featured Films"
And while Google has a ton of technical resources, they don't necessarily have a lot of ready built tools for video and graphical ad management. Suzie's four hours of sleep and blowing up cell phone were a testament to just how much work they have ahead of them!