Google ad plan makes cents for YouTube

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NEW YORK -- Almost a year after acquiring YouTube, Google is introducing its most comprehensive plan to date toward monetizing the video-sharing site.

A video units program announced Tuesday will allow users of Google's AdSense to embed relevant and monetized YouTube videos on their sites, which number in the hundreds of thousands. The revenue will be split among the content creators, the third-party sites and Google.

YouTube first announced semi-transparent overlay advertising for select content partners in August and painted it as an unobtrusive way of monetizing its content. Aside from banner ads, this was Google's first stab at commercializing the video-sharing site, which it bought in November for $1.65 billion.

With the video units, the monetization will be exponentially increased. Whereas previously, videos with the overlay ads only showed up on videos on YouTube, the new video units can be aggregated across the vast network of sites using AdSense.

An AdSense user who signs up for video units will automatically receive the content units based on publisher, content category or direct targeting through keywords. They can't choose individual videos to play on their sites, though.

The videos will come with banner ads on the top of the player or the overlay ads. AdSense users can further customize the color scheme and layout of the players.

At launch, the video units program will be working with about 100 "select YouTube content partners," including TV Guide Broadband, Lonelygirl15, Mondo Media and Ford Models.
Also on Tuesday, Google said that it acquired Jaiku, a Finnish tech company that focuses on developing applications for mobile phones and instant messaging based around "activity streams" -- personal logs, which include events and recommended media. Terms of this deal were not disclosed.
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