YouTube’s reach is unparalleled, though profitability still isn’t a focus for the 11-year-old video giant, CEO Susan Wojcicki explained, speaking yesterday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. Despite the fact that it has one billion monthly users and facilitates the viewership of millions of hours of content every day, “we are still in investment mode,” Wojcicki said, noting that “there’s no timetable” with regard to profitability.
While this doesn’t necessarily mean that YouTube isn’t profitable right now, notes Fortune, it means that it’s not an immediate focus. (Google doesn’t break out YouTube’s earnings separately — though the video platform is rumored to have amassed $8.5 billion in ad revenues in 2015.)
Wojcicki, who joined YouTube from a different role within parent company Google three years ago, said that declining TV viewership among young people — who today are largely watching influencer-created programming on their mobile phones — represents a huge opportunity. And in addition to continuing to invest in its creators, Wojcicki said, the company is also investing in virtual reality, emerging markets, and the living room viewing experience, she told Fortune.
Wojcicki was joined onstage by content creator Grace Helbig, who said her talk show on E! last spring attests to an evolution in media. “It was a real experiment in ‘would a digital audience consume a more traditional form of content?’ And the answer is kind of yes and no,” Helbig said. “People really value convenience over quality sometimes. So YouTube being so readily available and so personal and intimate is something that attracts people.”
Check out Wojcicki and Helbig in conversation below: