YouTube is one of the more popular websites on the planet, but Google has found some difficulty getting a profit out of their $1.65 billion investment. It is for this reason that Tod Sacerdoti proposes that the streaming video site re-brand itself.

“There is ample evidence, both factual and anecdotal, that in many people’s minds, YouTube is synonymous with user-generated (UGC) video,” writes Sacerdoti. “By the way, plenty of advertisers love cat videos. But determining what’s brand-safe and what isn’t among the amateur stuff is still a problem. And because of this unavoidable association YouTube overall captures less of global video ad budgets than its market share (40 percent) suggests it should have.”

“YouTube is struggling both to fund premium content and sell ads against the premium content it already has at rates that are competitive with Hulu and others,” he added. “YouTube has large amounts of premium content, more of it in fact than any broadcaster with an online presence. However, it simply isn’t commanding the same pre-roll rates as its traditional media peers.”

He cited examples of Vevo successfully re-branding itself for music videos and the fact that advertisers don’t like user-generated and premium videos on the same site. He also thinks that something new will help the brand, even if this is simply the sizzle that sells the steak, they have a lot of steak to sell and their volumes are growing everyday. So, let the name game begin. Four letter names seem to be doing well in video — Hulu and Vevo have proven that. Perhaps it should be a blend of traditional (YTV) or leverage the existing Google domain portfolio (they own, he proposed.

Source Ad Age