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Summary:

YouTube formally presented its search ad product today, called “Sponsored Videos.”

YouTube formally presented its search ad product today, called “Sponsored Videos.” We had reported on the format after it was spotted in the wild last month.

YouTube is finally utilizing its parent Google’s area of expertise to try to make some money, though it readily admits that searching for video is quite different than searching for web pages.

“Google search is very directed,” said Matt Liu, product manager for Sponsored Videos, in a presentation at YouTube headquarters. “YouTube search is at the other end of the spectrum, you’re very open to being entertained.”

With that in mind, Sponsored Videos are meant to fit into the normal YouTube experience by directing searchers to clips they might be interested in. Content creators will be able to use the product to seed a viral campaign, for instance, or to launch a new series. But that means would-be advertisers will have to have YouTube accounts with their own videos in order to even participate.

sponsored-videos-video-gameThe product helps advertisers target keywords in a cost-per-click auction similar to Google’s AdWords. Ads themselves have a thumbnail and three lines of promotional text, and always point to a YouTube page. Sponsored Videos has been tested by “several dozen advertisers run over 100 campaigns,” said Liu, with varying results due to the quality of the keyword targeting and the popularity of the video.

YouTube declined to comment on how significant the product would be as part of its advertising suite and its total revenue.

YouTube is under pressure to give Google a return on its investment; notably, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has recently been making public remarks to that effect. Some recent ad products include: pre-, mid- and post-roll ads lasting 15 seconds for long-form CBS content (and now MGM), affiliate links to iTunes and Amazon, automatically playing post-roll ads rather than leaving them static until a user clicked on them, and expandable HD homepage ads.

  1. They really should open this up and allow for any video – even video OFF YouTube – to be allowed to participate. Then it will be like AdWords.

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  2. I like it for advertisers that spend $250K on a campaign and now are desperate to prove to their clients that the brand went viral.

    But I don’t see many stars (save the ones that are already famous) being able to afford to attract viewers at even a few cents… unless unlrealistic percentages subscribe and watch enough videos to recoop it. Or if the creator sells a lot of tickets or music.

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  3. Omg this guy is SO HOT!!!

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  4. [...] Largest Video Discovery Platform” Much of the appeal of YouTube’s new search ad product that launched today is the sheer number of searches that are conducted on the video-sharing site. [...]

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  5. [...] than conduct “core” searches on Yahoo. So it’s only natural that YouTube is offering paid search ads so you can drive traffic to your YouTube clips. Quick overview [...]

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  6. [...] partners’ videos, could therefore monetize just 4 percent of its content (it has since added ads on search pages). Though it has more volume, it’s shifted into high gear, adding more advertiser-friendly [...]

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  7. [...] Google-scaled. The site has been seriously ramping up its advertising efforts, adding pre-rolls, search ads, and affiliate links. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently evaluated YouTube’s business as [...]

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  8. [...] brings the site’s AdWords-like tool for contextual video ads on search results pages (which launched last fall) to other parts of the site. It is similar to Google’s massive AdSense program for monetizing [...]

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  9. [...] Search is Google’s core function, and it’s become quite important on YouTube as well. The site is now consistently ranked the No. 2 U.S. search engine by comScore, with 3.6 billion search queries in June compared to Yahoo’s 2.9 billion. By inching the search box from the middle-right of the page to the left, and making it bigger, YouTube hopes to bring in even more queries (and monetizable search results pages). [...]

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  10. [...] first rolled out the program for search and then added Promoted Videos to its home page, video watch pages and the broader AdSense [...]

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