Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Steps Cautiously Into Mobile Ads

Another sign that Google is serious about wringing more money out of YouTube: It is adding ads to the video’s mobile site.

Another sign that mobile ads are still in their infancy: Google isn’t using its favorite video ad format on the YouTube ads.

Boot up your Apple (AAPL) iPhone or Android handset to today and you’ll start seeing ads like these:

But while you may see banner ads on YouTube’s mobile home, search and browse pages, you won’t see ads on the clips themselves.

Those will come eventually, Shishir Mehrotra, YouTube’s director of monetization, told Advertising Age, but in the near term, it’s too difficult for the company to pull off. That’s because there are too many handsets, with different standards and requirements, to support.

That’s a bummer for the Google (GOOG) unit, since it is particularly fond of the “overlay” ads that run on the bottom third of many of its clips. Then again, mobile is still a tiny market opportunity for YouTube: The company says it serves “tens of millions of views per day,” which sounds like a lot until you consider that the main site is serving a billion views daily.

Note that YouTube doesn’t seem to be advertising yet on its specialized iPhone app. Wonder what to make of that…

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik