Google Goes to Video Ads

Fishing for more online advertising dollars, Google offers video units to AdSense content providers.

More than a month after testing in-video ads on select YouTube videos, Google Oct. 9 began formally offering video units to content providers in its AdSense network.

Video units will allow AdSense publishers to display targeted video content from YouTube content partners within an embedded player supported by ads, which will roll once a user has clicked to play a video.

Publishers embed a snippet of code to get partner content streamed to their sites. Publishers can also customize the color scheme and layout and choose from three player sizes.

Ads will appear as banners at the top of the video unit and as a text on the bottom of the video when it begins playing. Per the AdSense model, advertisers are charged on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis, with AdSense publishers and YouTube content partners receiving an unspecified cut of the ad revenue.

YouTube content partners TV Guide Broadband, Expert Village, Mondo Media, lonelygirl15, Extreme Elements and Ford Models supply the video content.

Offering ad-supported videos is a way—along with mobile advertising—for Google to diversify its online advertising revenue streams, the bulk of which come from text ads on its sites millions of pages.

Thanks largely to YouTube, Internet video is becoming a popular perk, with many bloggers embedding video in their sites to keep readers engaged more often and for longer periods of time.

By offering video units through AdSense, Google is aiming to lure more content providers with the prospect of earning some incremental revenue while giving advertisers placement in front of consumers of these sites.

The trick with advertising on Web video, experts said, is to embed the ads in such a way as to be as painless as possible for the consumer viewing a video. Few experts agree on whether pre-roll, post-roll or in-video ads offer the best method, but Google began testing in-video ads on YouTube Aug. 21.


Read more here about in-video ads rolling on YouTube.

For example, Google overlayed the ads in the bottom 20 percent of the video screen and allowed users to accept or decline to view the video.

Google hopes video units through AdSense are similarly unobtrusive.

"AdSense publishers can now enhance their sites with interesting videos, YouTube content partners benefit from a new distribution channel, advertisers have a new vehicle to distribute their messages to their target audiences, and people can tune in to interesting videos on sites they normally visit," Google Product Marketing Manager Christine Lee said in a blog post.

The video units are now available in the United States for English-language Web sites, with other types of content coming in the following months.


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