Mr. Hurley didn't specify how the company would monetize it. "It would be great to make the ad model work on a mobile device," he said. "I haven't seen that work."
YouTube was a hot topic at the conference, coined Verge, which was held at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center and included OgilvyOne clients, friends of the agency and agency execs.
At an earlier panel, Beth Comstock, NBC Universal's digital chief, said media companies are "schizophrenic about these issues." She noted there's often a friction between the marketing side of the media companies that want to get as much consumer sampling as possible and the business side. "From a business perspective, I have to protect my [copyrighted] property ... I have to have a stake in the ground."
Mike Kelly, chief of AOL Media Network, agreed. "If you're a company whose business model depends on copyrighted content you can't afford to put all of it up [online]. But if you're concerned about getting the biggest audience and building audience, then you can't ignore that."
Mr. Kelly predicted soon there would be a parade of deals with YouTube that create commercial relationships between major media companies and the video-networking site.
The business model
Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of the much-discussed "The Long Tail," also brought up the subject of YouTube's business model. He noted it's easier to see how advertising is applied to the long tail -- i.e., niches -- through Goggle's ad-serving platform AdWords, which is an easy way to make millions of different ads designed to be matched. But how do you take the TV model and apply it to the long tail? That's the $1.6 billion question, he said, in a clear reference to Google's purchase of YouTube.
He suggested an approach not unlike what Chevrolet did with its Tahoe ads, supplying users with a generic video and asking them to create the text around it. If that text was algorithmically generated, then you could have "infinitely customized versions," he said.
Ms. Comstock predicted the broadband video marketplace will be a $1.5 billion one this year and total $9 billion by 2010, thanks to both paid and ad-supported media.