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Video start-up YouTube rocking on -- grabs $8 million more

YouTube, the San Mateo company that lets you watch and share videos, said it has received $8M in a second round of funding from respected Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital.

The company's viewership growth is still expanding. Some 35 million videos are being watched daily. That's up from just 30 million over the past two weeks or so, according to Julie Supan, YouTube's marketing person.

The cash comes only five months after the company raised $3.5M from Sequoia in November, so we asked them what they are spending all this dough on.

It will be used to expand the company's data centers, to facilitate faster and reliable video transmissions. It will also be used to market YouTube at events, such as the Noisepop music festival in San Francisco last week. For that, YouTube formed a group of people and encouraged them to take videos of the bands in action and post them at YouTube.

And while there's buzz about how traffic growth is beginning to wane at some other social Web sites, there's no sign of that happening yet at YouTube, Supan told us. "We think it's in the infant stage," she said confidentally. "It just keeps continuing to grow."

YouTube is now trying its best to market itself as not a place to post copyrighted content, but as a place for movie and other video producers to promote their wares. Supan said that YouTube's video of a trailer for Scary Movie 4 drew more than a million views -- and that "there's no other way to reach a million targeted eyeballs, other than when people are in a movie theatre." The trailers can get 900 comments from the viewers, giving producers feedback, she said. YouTube is working with MTV and E! Entertainment to promote their programs, she said.

YouTube is now getting fewer so-called "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" notifications from the industry complaining about copyrighted material, she added. The company still gets a "handful" of these a week, but for every one of those YouTube gets five calls from people seeking partnerships, she noted.

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YouTube content was used on the BBC 10 O'Clock news last night, the biggest news show in the UK.

Tom on April 6, 2006 7:34 AM
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I genuinely think its a great service, particularly for young and amateur film makers, giving them an instant audience and feedback on their projects. Long may YouTube continue, and hopefully the funding will be put to great use in enhancing its services.

Ken McGuire on April 6, 2006 2:54 PM
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This space is moving so quickly, TechCrunch is now reporting that YouTube raised and additional $25M. Funny thing is that I think competition in the space is just starting to heat up and I'm not sure that YouTube will ultimately be the winner. Right now I'm really enamored with Blog Cheese (http://www.blogcheese.com) they seem like the best service for video blogging but at the pace this market is moving, who knows.

Andrew Fife on May 4, 2006 10:10 PM
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