Posted November 12, 2008 5:42 pm by with 14 comments

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YouTube is premiering more than full length movie deals this week: the most popular video site on the web has also announced a new advertising program in Sponsored Videos.

In what seems like “duh” step, YouTube announced today that they’ll now be serving CPC sponsored video ads alongside their video search results, targeted by keywords. Already live, here’s an example SERP:
youtube sponsored videos

And if you’re like me, you’re echoing these comments, as reported by CNET:

As one reporter asked YouTube executives: “Wasn’t this a no-brainer?”

It’s not as easy as it looks, according to Matthew Liu, a YouTube product manager.

“You’re absolutely right,” Liu told reporters. “In hindsight, it is a natural transition for YouTube to make. We’ve been working on this for months. The key was, we wanted to make sure we got it right. There are a lot of intricacies involved. YouTube is a video discovery platform. We’ve been integrating with Google AdWords for some time, and now we’re at a place where it can be win and win.”

Search Engine Land offers some details on the program: Sponsored Videos must be hosted on YouTube and be available outside the Sponsored Video as well. As such, these videos are subject to the same user reviews and comments as all other videos. The Sponsored Videos can be single videos or entire channels.

This new ad push may come just in time—some film studio execs think YouTube’s ad-based movie deals will never be as profitable as paid models like iTunes.

As we ask with every YouTube story: are you my mother? is this finally the right way to monetize YouTube?

UPDATE: the official announcement.

  • Jordan you’re always on top of the latest news. Anyway, this is awesome I think. A least something new to play (test) with.

    But I guess we should have known that Google had something more up their sleeves with the money they put for YouTube.

    YouTube has traffic and Google is the master at monetizing traffic. Match made.

  • That’s a very smart monetization strategy.

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  • The popular keywords will get more attention and hence more money for google.

    Whats cunning? Its an auction..

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  • “In what seems like duh step” – bingo!

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  • We new that Google would be monetizing Youtube eventually, it would be stupid for them not to. They even started putting ads at the bottom of the google image search page. Great move on their part though.

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  • I’d just call them “crazy” for not trying this early.

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  • There are a lot of smart people at google. Like Kamal says.. It’s crazy for not trying this earlier. Maybe they want everything to be perfect.

  • Google & Co is dominating news headlines right across the board. This model seems to be an effective way of monetizing their YouTube investment.

  • You know it Salihu and Saad. You know Google likes to stay in (BETA) for ever it seems sometimes. I guess then they can blame any mistakes on being in beta…

    …or maybe it’s because they have more PHDs working for them than a hospital, they just like to make sure the quality is super!


  • Yeah, Google is lucky to have plenty smart employees among its staff. This feature had to emerge long-long ago. Finally we have it; so the news is really perfect.

  • PS3

    Full length movies are going to be one heck of a drain on their resources, the last thing you want is a stuttering film?

  • Like they need more more money! Good for them I guess.

  • This was bound to happen at some point. It will definitely not affect my YouTube experience. Definitely a smart move on their part however. My eyes tend to ignore anything under the word “sponsors” or “sponsored” these days.

    Full length movies, eh? Sick.

    – Jack Rugile
    Simple Sapien

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