Anthony, I think Youtube’s customers are advertisers rather than creators. No question in my mind.
As an example of how the financial incentives need to align with the soul of the company, think about Grooveshark’s new services for rights holders to upload their own work. GS is basically attempting to Soundcloud, or an audio-only YouTube, except with an intention of serving the advertisers. Unlike Soundcloud, Grooveshark doesn’t charge musicians.
But GS’s soul is creating inventory to sell to advertisers, and it does that at the expense of relationships with musicians. So musicians by and large hate Grooveshark. The antagonism runs deep. So musicians are not flocking to upload to Grooveshark.
(I can’t remember the name of the project, need to dig around to find it, and a casual googling didn’t turn it up).