AdSense For Video, the closed pilot program that Google launched back in May, has now been made into a regular program that any publisher can take part in. Introducing video units from Google’s Inside AdSense blog has more about the program, which allows publishers to carry video from YouTube and earn from ads shown within the player. From the post:
Simply embed a snippet of code and have relevant YouTube partner content streamed to your site. You can choose categories of video to target to your site, select content from individual YouTube partners, or have video automatically targeted to your site content. Companion and text overlay ads are relevant and non-intrusive.
More can be found from Google in these new help pages, and existing AdSense publishers should see an AdSense For Video option via the AdSense Setup tab shortly (at the moment, I don’t see it showing myself, but it should come soon). Google also sent this message out to the press:
As media becomes more and more fragmented, content providers and advertisers are looking for new ways to distribute their messages to the right audiences at scale. To better connect content providers with consumers and to give publishers new ways to further engage their audiences, Google today announced the availability of video units, the first offering for content distribution on AdSense(TM). Video units enable AdSense publishers to display relevant, targeted video content within a customized, embedded player that’s ad-supported. Google is working with select YouTube content partners including TV Guide Broadband, Expert Village, Mondo Media, lonelygirl15, Extreme Elements, and Ford Models to supply the video content. The video units are user-initiated and will play only after a user has clicked to play the video.
The ads within the video unit are targeted based on a combination of the video content and the publisher’s site content. Advertisers are charged on a cost-per-click or cost-per-impression basis. Ads appear as a companion banner ad at the top of the video unit and as a text ad on the bottom portion of the video once the video begins playing. AdSense publishers and YouTube content partners will receive a share of the ad revenue.
Content distribution on AdSense improves the overall web experience by connecting consumers with more relevant information and entertainment on the sites they visit. 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.
Video units are now available in the U.S. for English language websites. Over the coming months, we will expand the program to include other types of content to bring these benefits to content owners no matter their medium of choice.
Also see discussion on Techmeme here.
Postscript from Greg: What’s interesting is how Google is taking AdSense distribution and turning into a syndication mechanism for content. The videos themselves that will be distributed as part of the program are not ads but content that can be selected by the publisher. Publishers have varying degrees of choice in the program; they can choose to allow Google to match video content with their sites, choose a “channel” (type of video content) or an individual video producer. And, as mentioned, video is simply the first content type of many that could come later: audio, text, games, and so on.
Two types of ads exist: one that sits on top of or within the player (below) and a “text overlay” that appears 10 seconds into the stream. These are conventional AdSense ads and don’t require any separate creative or action on the part of advertisers. Below is a screenshot of the player and an ad, which has the quality of a sponsorship placement: