In a story that has dragged on even longer than the Yahoo/Microsoft saga, YouTube continues to search for its monetization sweet spot. This January, they started a deal to run masthead ad units, which seventeen brands have utilized. Now they’re offering a synchronized homepage placement, and McDonald’s has signed up as the first advertiser.
Most of the brands already advertising with the masthead units are similar (or possibly competing) businesses: specifically entertainment brands EA, Apple, Lionsgate, Universal and Sony, many of which have deals with YouTube already (and more notes on the latest Universal/YouTube deal in a minute!). But McDonald’s advertising shows a departure from this. As Clickz points out,
But the video portal is eager to make inroads with CPG giants, national food chains, and other brands that cast a wider demographic net. YouTube execs argue its massive reach justifies the attention of these advertisers. They may have a point. The site boasts upward of 35 million U.S. impressions per month on its homepage alone and 83 million total unique visitors to the site. That gives it a fourth-place ranking among all U.S. Web sites in March, according to ComScore.
Now there’s some sound advertising sense. What do you think of broadening the appeal of YouTube’s ads to match the site’s appeal? Is there merit to this perspective, or is it alienating the demographic that is still undeniably the core audience?
Meanwhile, YouTube soldiers on in its plans with Universal Music Group. The two are planning a dedicated music video site. Announced last month, Vevo is expected to get a CEO any day now. CNET says the lucky guy will be Rio Caraeff, executive vice president of Universal Music Group’s eLabs. This could bode well for the planned company, since according to reports Caraeff is:
is known for his willingness to embrace technology and its role in the entertainment industry. In January, Caraeff praised YouTube for its shift in focus toward monetization of online video, saying “They have finally turned the spotlight on ‘How do we turn this into a business’ and that’s benefiting the entire ecosystem of content owners as well.”
With few details announced so far, Vevo has yet to really capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of its prospective audience, but the idea still seems good. What do you think? Is this finally “the big one” to monetize one of the most popular sites of the Internet?