Home YouTube Monetization: Let Users Sell Ads

YouTube Monetization: Let Users Sell Ads

Partner Program not working out? NewTeeVee reports that YouTube will begin allowing content creators to sell their own ads, with the Google-owned video property taking a cut. The YouTube Partner Program, which gives top producers on the site a slice of ad revenue, opened to all last December. Now, at least one major content creator — Revision3 — is already handling some of their own ad inventory on YouTube, according to Advertising Age, and the plan is apparently to extend that option to other top producers.

In April, Google CEO Eric Schmidt promised new ways to monetize YouTube. “We believe the best products are coming out this year,” he said. “And they’re new products. They’re not announced. They’re not just putting in-line ads in the things that people are trying.” Is letting users sell their own ad inventory the first of those new advertising products?

Monetizing YouTube, which dominates the online video space more completely than Google dominates search, has become a main priority for Google this year. Estimates on YouTube’s revenues for 2008 range from $70 million to $200 million. Even on the high end that’s just 1% of Google’s yearly revenue.

Earlier this year, Google launched a free vieweranalytics program for YouTube content creators, which should be helpful in selling their own inventory.

When Google launched video ads last August, we predicted that “AdSense for Video” was inevitable. “Google can offer two things to advertisers: a huge pre-built distribution network (via YouTube), and sophisticated bidding and campaign tracking tools (via AdSense),” we wrote. “For publishers, Google can offer a sophisticated monetization strategy, and they can also offer hosting (though they need to offer a non-gallery option — i.e., videos that are hosted by YouTube, but not displayed on YouTube.com).”

The Partner Program was halfway there, and letting content creators sell their own ad inventory is one step closer. The next step would be letting producers manage their own Google handled inventory.

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