YouTube Gets Its Own Version Of AdSense With Promoted Video Upgrade

Over the last few months, YouTube has made it clear that it’s keen on helping its premium content partners monetize as effectively as possible — and it’s obviously having some success doing it, with the number of monetized views increasing rapidly. Today the site is launching a new feature that will give those monetization rates another boost: YouTube Promoted Video campaigns will now be able to appear on a video’s ‘watch’ page, turning the product into what’s effectively an ‘AdSense for YouTube’.

For those that aren’t famililar with the terminology YouTube uses to identify its pages and advertising products, here’s what that means. Up until now Promoted Video campaigns have been primarily shown on search result pages — I might run a campaign with “guitar” as a keyword, and when someone did a search for that term, my video would show up as a promoted result. In this sense, the program was quite similar to Google’s AdWords feature. Today, though, YouTube is going to begin showing Promoted Videos on the ‘Watch’ pages, where videos are actually shown alongside comments and related other content. Promoted videos that appear here will be matched with the content that’s already on the page, hence the AdSense comparison. Anyone running a promoted video campaign will be able to choose if they’d like to stick with the old product (displaying their video in search results) or on the Watch page.

Premium content partners will also benefit from the product — whenever a Promoted Video is matched against a piece of content they own (or that they’ve identified using Content ID), they’ll get a cut of the revenue as well.

I spoke with YouTube Product Manager Matthew Liu, who says that the addition is part of YouTube’s overarching goal of increasing the amount of money its partners can generate (the more money they make, the more content they put up — and YouTube makes more money in turn). Before now, the site has done this in a few ways: it makes it easier for partners to monetize more videos with Content ID, which lets them monetize UGC, and highlights parter content as Featured Videos, which drive more traffic by heavily promoting the videos to YouTube users. And, obviously, today’s release will let them earn revenue through yet another channel as users begin running Promoted Video campaigns against their premium content.

See the YouTube Biz blog for more.