YouTube Looks to Go Mobile

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YouTube announced its plans to branch out into the mobile marketplace at the OgivlyOne Digital Media Summit. But with no clear monetization strategy and pending copyright issues, the endeavor could be met with several snares and pitfalls along the way.

The transition from fixed platforms to mobile technology is becoming an imperative focus these days for content providers, who are looking to infuse an even greater sense of “virality” throughout online communities in regards to their products.

This week, Google unveiled a new client for mobile Gmail to the public. Also, the blogosphere has been rampant with rumors anew concerning the iPhone, based mostly on partnership initiatives between Cingular and Apple, and Apple’s new speech recognition patents.

Clearly, content mobility is becoming a major focus among the leaders in the digital sphere. At the same time, consumers and industry experts alike are always eagerly awaiting the “next big thing” in mobile content.

Enter YouTube, who announced plans this week to bring its popular video-sharing model to the mobile marketplace.

According to co-founder Chad Hurley, the company is aiming toward making its mobile debut sometime within the next year.

So what obstacles stand in between YouTube and a mobile network of plugged-in Tubers?

For starters, the company has no current plans for a revenue model to support a mobile venture. YouTube’s advertising model for its web site isn’t going to translate as easily to a Blackberry Pearl or a Palm Treo. So monetization is going to be one of the primary hurdles the company will have to overcome to enter the mobile market.

YouTube, however, does have a key advantage: limited size of content.

Bandwidth and disk space always factor into the equation when it comes to conceptualizing mobile video. With YouTube only allowing a 10-minute maximum for its clips, however, potential mobile subscribers won’t have to worry so much about the bandwidth constraints for data transfers, or the potential disk space issues should the option of retaining mobile clips become available.

But before all this can happen, YouTube and Google have to settle the potential myriad of copyright issues facing them concerning the site’s video content. If YouTube can establish and maintain content partnerships throughout the recording and broadcast industries, then its venture into the mobile marketplace has the best chance of succeeding.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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