Google Expands YouTube Affiliate Ads to Europe

clickz_ukandeu.gifAfter announcing the introduction of click-to-buy ads in the U.S. and U.K. in October, YouTube is now rolling the affiliate program out to other European territories. The Google-owned video site announced yesterday that links to songs from the iTunes store will now appear next to content for users in Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Additionally, the links themselves will no longer be limited to simple text ads, but may begin to appear as overlays on videos themselves – a move that will presumably maximize user reach through embedded video units on third party sites.

Partners will not be limited to placements against their own content, but will be offered the opportunity to add links against user videos using the site’s Content ID tools.

Eventually, YouTube hopes to extend the program beyond music alone, potentially offering links to DVDs, video games, and other products, the firm said on its blog. Touting the effectiveness of the medium, it also claims the click-to-buy ads helped boost sales of Monty Python DVDs by 23,000 percent, sending it to No.2 on Amazon’s Movies and TV bestsellers chart.

YouTube, as with many social media and Web 2.0 sites, has struggled to fully monetize its vast amounts of inventory and extensive user-base. Incidentally, the video sharing site isn’t Google’s only foray outside of the search world with which it has struggled to garner revenues; the firm announced this week that it will cull its print advertising program as part of a new policy to drop poorly performing products.

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