There are a number of articles on YouTube today: TechCrunch, GigaOm, PaidContent, along with a comparison from LightReading on video sharing sites.
The business model question on YouTube continues to come up, people assuming that they will eventually monetize the eyeballs.
YouTube could also become the empowering engine for VideoSharing for various sites like TimeWarner, CNN, MTV, National Geographic, Comcast, etc. and charge Licensing Fees or Transaction Fees. This is the model that Google originally used to power Yahoo Search. It is also the model Inktomi and Overture used, early on.
The other business model option is the Photobucket Subscription Fee model. Photobucket is the central repository for storing Video and Images for which customers pay them a monthly fee. Content stored on Photobucket can be published on any site such as Flickr, MySpace, FaceBook, Piczo, Xanga, etc.
YouTube, most certainly, has hit the threshold to be able to monetize their traction. They also need to move some of the infrastructure burden over to their licensees, by hosting private labeled versions for TimeWarner, MTV, etc. Right now, this enormous infrastructure burden is starting to become pointless, unless someone pays for it.
Also, the company that should acquire YouTube is Comcast, who has announced that they want to become a comparable portal to Yahoo. YouTube, especially an YouTube that has the business model issues thought through, could be a cornerstone for building such a strategy.
Comcast’s portal ambitions are ridiculed by many. YouTube could change all that.