Google is expanding its AdSense program so that Web site publishers can display and make money off embedded video clips from YouTube content partners that have targeted banner or text ads, in addition to the traditional text ads that Google offers.
Pretty soon Web sites will be able to get any kind of content they want on their sites and get a cut of the revenue from accompanying ads. This will boost Google's already successful online ad business and give publishers a way to earn more money on their sites. Soon, we'll see Google distributing all of the content a Web site could want.
The new AdSense content distribution program is launching on Tuesday with a new product called video units. Other types of media will be added to the program in the future, including audio, articles and games, said Christian Oestlien, a business product manager at Google.
Until recently, Google, for the most part, has focused on distributing text ads to Web sites through its auction-based AdWords system in which advertisers bid on keywords. You see the ads on sites across the Web with an "Ads by Google" tag. When someone clicks on the ad the Web site gets a share of the revenue, as does Google.
In this new model, site publishers can appeal to the Internet's current fixation on video by essentially syndicating their video content.
Under the new AdSense program, Web sites owners can choose whether they want a static banner ad that sits on top of the video player or a text overlay ad that appears 10 seconds into the clip and covers up 20 percent of the bottom of the screen. Those ads are site or keyword targeted. Users have the option of minimizing such ads. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-click or a cost-per-impression basis.
The syndicated video, which begins playing when someone clicks on it, comes from content providers like: TV Guide Broadband; Expert Village, which offers how-to advice; animation company Mondo Media; Extreme Elements targeting adventure sports and travel; and Ford Models.
Web site publishers can choose between a mini, standard or large video player and can customize the color scheme.
The program will initially be available only to the several thousand U.S. online AdSense partners, but will be expanded to other countries where YouTube has launched over the next several quarters, Oestlien said.
"It's an interesting move for Google to leverage the AdSense network beyond pure advertising," said Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence. "It's an interesting video monetization, as well, with ads being drawn from the normal AdSense pool."
Google has been experimenting with distributing video and video ads on its AdSense publisher network, but with mixed results. The company has tested distributing in-stream video ads and in-stream video clips with , but apparently finds that banner and text ads work best. Google also offers , but with no content attached.
The new Video Units are not to be confused with the for videos hosted on the YouTube site.