In a move with implications for any organization or campaign using the site for video hosting, YouTube will begin experimenting with video advertising as soon as this summer, according to Red Herring:
The video-sharing site that was acquired by Google in November is experimenting with the precise length, form, and placement of those ads, and will begin rolling them out this summer, Suzie Reider, head of advertising for YouTube, told an audience at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco Wednesday.
We’re looking at executions like a very quick little intro preceding a video, then the video, then a commercial execution on the backside of the content,” Ms. Reider said.
The company intends share advertising revenue with its “premium” content producers, though this article does not indicate whether ads will appear with only premium content clips or with other/all video clips on the site. Previous coverage of YouTube advertising in Variety seems to implicate that ads would only appear in front of certain clips, apparently if the video submitter chose to include advertising and could also prove ownership of the material. Variety indicated that YouTube would split ad revenues 50/50 with content owners.
Now, let’s think of the implications for political video. If YouTube advertising stays voluntary, the issues are fairly straightforward, since an organization or campaign can simply opt-out of the program. If it chooses to allow advertising, the legal types may need to get involved, because I have no earthly idea how advertising revenue is handled under campaign finance and nonprofit tax laws.
If YouTube eventually extends ads to ALL of its hosted clips, then things start to get interesting. Whose ads will sandwich your content? Particularly if ads are content-targeted, it may be your opponent’s or rival’s — I’ve heard of several organizations trying and discarding Google Ads on websites for exactly that reason. What if other currently-free hosting sites follow suit and essentially ALL video-sharing becomes ad-supported? Let’s keep an eye on this one. (Story via Marketing Vox.)