Unprofitable YouTube Developing Ad Targeting Platform

youtube offlineNine years after YouTube was acquired by Google, the video service still isnt profitable, The Wall Street Journal reports.

YouTube brought in estimated revenues of $4bn (£2.6bn) in 2014, around six per cent of Googles total for the year, according to figures shared with WSJ, but when it comes to profit, the unit is still only “roughly break-even”.

This shortfall has reportedly led to the development of a new ad targeting system, which would use DoubleClick data to serve YouTube ads based on users browsing history. This targeting could potentially arrive this year.

This is just one of the ways that Google is working to better monetise YouTube. It is reportedly set to roll out auto-play on its video in the near future, potentially increasing viewership – and the number of users who dont skip its pre-roll ads.

Google is working to bring the way people use YouTube closer to how they have traditionally watched TV. The company has invested in original content from YouTube stars, and last month secured the rights to NFL content.

With the launch of its ad-free music subscription service last November, YouTube also seems to be testing the waters for the kind of user-funded model seen on US TV channel HBO, or online video streaming service Netflix.