Google (NSDQ: GOOG) — which has spent much of the last year talking about how it is making more money off of YouTube — is now beginning to monetize the mobile version of the video site. In a blog post, the company says banner ads — sold on a “full-day basis” — will soon appear on the home, search and browse pages of YouTube when the site is accessed via a mobile phone.
YouTube had started testing ads on the mobile site in August 2008 and YouTube’s Taylor Cascino says those tests showed “strong results related to click-throughs, user experience and brand awareness.”
YouTube says that traffic to its mobile site grew 160 percent over the last year — and says that bringing ads to the mobile site will “immediately provide one of the largest audiences for a mobile ad campaign anywhere on the web.”
As a reader points out, the other metric YouTube provides is less impressive; the company says “tens of millions of videos” are now being viewed on the mobile site each day. When YouTube started testing one-and-a-half years ago, it said users were watching “hundreds of millions” of YouTube videos each month on their phones. Not clear how different those two stats are.
As for the web version, Google said last summer that it was now getting “well over a billion views a day.” Analysts have said that growth — as well as monetization efforts, like the new mobile ads — could lead to YouTube boosting Google’s bottom line for the first time this year.