Last week, earnings from Google, one of the biggest and most important companies in Silicon Valley, slipped by without much fanfare; the news was buried in headlines about convulsing financial markets, new Apple gadgets, and Ebola.

But if there’s one thing to pay attention to in the performance of sprawling Google, it’s the company’s sleeping giant: YouTube. “We’re just getting started with YouTube and its potential” Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer said during its conference call, before revealing the video upload site had secured major advertising commitments from the five biggest digital advertising agencies in the US, and major brands such as Coke and General Motors.

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