Google’s Big New Content Push: Poptub


Google is making its most serious foray into video production yet, with the new video series Poptub, a sort of Entertainment Tonight for YouTube.

Google’s direct involvement with the creation of the show — which we are frustrated to admit we’ve been trying to ascertain for months now — was revealed in a story in the Hollywood Reporter today.

Poptub is actually a recreation of Yahoo’s cancelled The 9, with the same perky host, Maria Sansone, the same sponsor, Pepsi, and the same production company, New York City-based Embassy Row. However, it’s now meant to be a curator for Google’s sprawling video site, YouTube.

The show, which is co-hosted by Nick Vitale, comes out about three times a day, with short interview segments, hosted video roundups, most-viewed countdowns, and straight-up video compilations. Poptub has actually been posting episodes since Sept. 7, and has been heavily promoted (at least in my experience) via ads on YouTube itself. However, its audience so far is modest, with episodes rarely scoring more than 10,000 views and fewer than 4,000 subscribers. It’s using the smart strategy of riding on the coattails of YouTube stars like HotforWords and Obama Girl, though that hasn’t really paid off yet.

Poptub will have the added boost of being distributed through Google Content Network, the advertising-as-distribution setup that Google refined alongside Seth MacFarlane’s Cartoon Cavalcade of Comedy. GCN, which features video content in advertising units on demographically aligned sites, helped drive Cavalcade to 14 million views in its first three weeks.

Poptub is reportedly committed to 3 billion impressions across GCN and YouTube before the end of the year. Better get cracking!



“Curating” sites have become the new “aggregate” site. PopTub fits right in it seems, gathering information to meet the needs of visual consumers and making it more convenient for them to see what they want all in one place. is one site that plans to do this as well, though not in affiliation with any other site, unlike PopTub. I know is another such site as well as the newly launched The Daily Beast. Each one will simply need to find it’s niche so as to differentiate.

Liz Gannes

We haven’t heard anything about that yet. Would be good to know.

In the HR Poptub story the folks behind Cavalcade wouldn’t talk about that either, except in vague terms. “[Dan Goodman of MRC] credits GCN for driving much of the traffic to YouTube” is the quote, which I just saw paidContent pick up as saying that GCN was the “primary driver” of traffic to Cavalcade on YouTube. That seems like an overreaching interpretation to me, but maybe it’s just semantics.


Liz, do you know the video ad sense take rate. i.e. how many video are they streaming in the “video as distribution” setup?

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