YouTube has begun inserting sponsored videos into the “related videos” column on the lower-right side of video view pages. The move is part of an ongoing quest to deliver ads on more video pages, and it seems to be working. A series of videos tested today turned up “Promoted Videos” in the Related column. These consisted of everything from single episodes by small video creators to major film releases. Not surprisingly, I found more paid videos for entertainment advertisers, including trailers for G-Force (below) and The Hangover, than for any other vertical. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure I spotted any paid videos promoting non-entertainment products.
The new ad placements are part of a program begun in December, when YouTube began inserting Promoted Videos within its search results pages. In a blog post today YouTube said that while the first rollout of these ads was akin to AdWords — matching Promoted Videos to search queries — today’s announcement is like AdSense — pairing video content with other video content through contextual targeting
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