We suggest YouTube will be transformed as it seeks financial favors from big advertisers. Such brands will be given favorable treatment. Google’s YouTube is now in the process of building up its advertising sales staff. Here’s an excerpt from its job announcement for ad sales Reps to be based in Santa Monica, New York, Boston, Detroit, and Chicago [my italics]:
“Join the country’s leading and fastest growing advertising sales organization. YouTube, a Google company, is looking for an Advertising Sales Representative to work in our Detroit office within our sales organization.
Founded in February 2005, YouTube is a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience. YouTube originally started as a personal video sharing service, and has grown into an entertainment destination with people watching more than 70 million videos on the site daily.
Main responsibility is to drive revenue for the YouTube business unit and consult with brand advertisers and interactive agencies on how to leverage the YouTube platform and participate in the YouTube community.”
YouTube and other social networks need to serve the public interest. They will likely, however, become commercial communities foremost. But that’s not a real community. So, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and the crop of social networks on broadband (including mobile) must make their business model transparent. They need to make public what major advertisers get, in terms of access to users, data, placement, etc. Google should be playing a leadership role here, as well as Microsoft, Yahoo! and other key services.Â They also should promise to always provide free and prominent civic space for candidates, issues, and public interest content.