Nearing Profitability, YouTube Hits 500 Million Promoted Video Views

YouTube has just announced that it has served its 500 millionth promoted video view. The video ad format, which the company launched a few years ago, essentially allows advertisers pay to promote videos in search results and on the YouTube home page.

The product is similar to an AdWords for YouTube. So advertisers buy a keyword, and when someone did a search for that term, the advertiser’s video will show up as a promoted result. Last year, YouTube also started to place Promoted Videos on the ‘Watch’ pages, where videos are actually shown alongside comments and related other content, replicating AdSense in some ways.

Promoted Video campaigns can now also implemented in a number of countries outside the U.S.. And YouTube’s Promoted Video API is now in AdWords in beta so agencies can use Promoted Videos to manage ad campaigns across multiple clients.

YouTube also said that the average Promoted Video is approximately three minutes and it would take someone 2,853 years to watch them all. The company also says that they have seen “six-fold increase” in the number of times viewers have clicked to watch a Promoted Video.

That’s of course good news for YouTube and for advertisers who are looking to attract eyes on the video platform. Advertising is a steadily growing for YouTube. During Google’s most recent earnings call, the company revealed that YouTube is now monetizing 2 billion views per week (there are about 2 billion total views per day through the service). The monetization rate is up 50 percent year-over-year.

And after a number of years in the red, the platform is finally nearing profitability, according to comments made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt in September. This milestone could be accelerated by the increase in ad revenue coming through the platform.