Ben Ling Saves YouTube, Gets Big Google Promotion

Google Product Boss Ben Ling

Photo: NewTeeVee

YouTube monetization and partners guy Ben Ling has done an outstanding job turning around that property – and parent-company Google (GOOG) is rewarding him for it.Ben is now “Product Management Director of Search Properties at Google.”

It’s a “bigger job” says a Google source.

Sounds like it.

According to Ben’s LinkedIn page, he’ll be “Focus Area Lead for Google Search Properties, including Images, Video, News, Finance, Books, Blogs, Real-Time, Alerts, and Trends.”

Remember, Google earns about $22 billion off search, so this is a big deal.

When Ben quit Facebook to re-join Google as YouTube’s “head of monetization” back in August 2008, we were sceptical.

We wrote that “[Ben] either really wanted to get out of Facebook, or he really has a hankering for tough jobs, because his new Google gig is going to be awfully difficult.”

But after two years with Ben leading its ivestreaming, music, shows, and movies efforts, YouTube is celebrating its fifth birthday, 2 billion video views a day, and improbably, profitability on $700 million or so in revenues – up from $200 million when Ben took the job.

Ben got YouTube there by turning it into a platform for premium and semi-premium content-makers. He redesigned YouTube to make it easier on the eyes and easier to use from the couch.

Correction: An earlier version of this post described Ben Ling as YouTube’s “head of monetization,” based on prior, widely-published reports. Ben was not YouTube’s head of monetization. He led YouTube’s “partner facing solutions,” says a source.

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