New From Google Labs: Google Big Friggin' Video Ad
Google hasn’t yet figured out a way to find and remove video content posted to YouTube and Google Video in violation of copyright, but it may have finally figured out something far more important: how to advertise on it.
This morning, the company announced a new service that allows publishers to embed ad-supported YouTube videos in their Web sites. The videos will be distributed through Google’s AdSense network and will carry two ad placements: a banner at the top of the video player that can be either text links or a graphical display, and a text link ad at the bottom. Ad revenue will be split between site publishers, video publishers, and Google. The ads themselves, according to Google at least, will be relevant to both video and site content, as well as “unobtrusive.” A win-win service for everyone involved.
“Content distribution on AdSense improves the overall Web experience by connecting consumers with more relevant information and entertainment on the sites they visit,” Google explained. “This new program is a scalable and cost-effective way to distribute content online, creates a new revenue opportunity for publishers and content owners, and helps advertisers reach their target audiences in new and innovative ways. It will also allow AdSense publishers a unique way to enhance their sites with fresh, dynamic content.”
Or gum them up with behemoth video ads fattened with Google Analytics code, something Google would never do to its own famously spartan pages. Remember, text ads save lives, flashy ads take them, as Rough Type’s Nick Carr aptly notes:
I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of how Google used to brag about the way its refusal to serve banner ads was literally saving people’s lives–a claim that earned it some fawning press coverage. Sergey Brin would point to the case where a fellow was in the early stages of a heart attack and went online to find out what he should do. As Fortune Small Business reported:
“ ‘He started using one search engine, but it was too slow because the banner ads were loading, so he switched to Google. After getting the information he needed, he headed to the hospital immediately … “Not only did our search engine save his life, but it shows that these decisions–like whether to use text-based or graphical ads–matter,” says Brin, the co-founder of Google.’
“I don’t think Brin talks about this story so much anymore. While Google has yet to incorporate graphical ads into its search pages, it does serve millions of them up to outside sites through AdSense. I wonder how many people in the throes of a medical emergency have rushed to a health-care information site only to find themselves helplessly waiting for some big animated AdSense ad to load (and, as well, the Google Analytics code to run). Now, these poor souls are also going to have to endure the loading of YouTube videos and their accompanying ads. I can only hope that they’ve kept up with their life insurance premiums.”