According to The Wall Street Journal, "Warner, like the three other major-label groups, licensed its recording and music-publishing catalogs to YouTube shortly before the site's acquisition by Google Inc. in 2006." Obviously, the revenue-share of the advertising dollars from marketing messages that Google sells next to the Warner content is remarkably poor.
Google has been hoping to show that it can make money from the largest video site in the world. Based on company comments and its earning releases, the effort is yielding no success. That makes the search company's acquisition of YouTube look like a bust. Because Google is such a huge earnings machine, it hardly matters.
Not so for Warner, which is dying fairly fast as music moves from CDs to digital delivery though channels like the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPod and music download and streaming websites. The stock market is voting that Warner's efforts won't work. The company's shares trade at $3, down from $23 less than two years ago.
If outlets like YouTube don't yield substantial revenue for Warner, the company is toast.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 247wallst.com.