YouTube Adds Sponsored Video Search & Embedded Adverts – Monetization Efforts

1 min read

It’s hardly news that Google is desperately trying to turn YouTube in to a money-making venture rather than the high-traffic, low-revenue property it currently is. But are the latest two monetization methods a step too far?

We’ve been keeping a watchful eye on the many and varied ways in which YouTube is being monetized here on WebTVWire, and the past few months have seen a lot of effort being put in to the site.

Monetization Efforts

We’ve seen pre-roll and post-roll adverts introduced, the YouTube homepage filled with banner ads, and a variety of different deals with media companies to improve both content and profits.

These include CBS, MGM, Lionsgate, and independent producers. Then there are the new ‘click to buy’ adverts being added to music videos and the like.

In the last few days, Google has announced two new methods for monetizing YouTube: Sponsored video search results, and overlay adverts on embedded partner videos.

Sponsored Video Search

This is the more controversial measure of the two as it means the top search results on YouTube will be given over to the highest bidder for that particular keyword.

YouTube is the second largest search property behind Google itself, beating the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft comfortably. There are over 2.5 billion searches made on the site each and every month.

So YouTube has now given in to its paymasters at Google and is allowing sponsored search results to take precedence over keyword and traffic generated search results.

The Sex Factor

As TechCrunch points out, this may be fine in some quarters but online video has a long history of being associated with porn, and so sex is likely to now figure highly in a number of non-porn related YouTube searches.

So while it makes sense for YouTube to go down this path, sponsored search results are never really a fan favorite and are likely to lead YouTubers to some videos they really didn’t want to see. But there’s money in it so Google obviously feels it’s fair game.

Embedded Overlay Adverts

An altogether less controversial addition are overlay adverts now being inserted in to embedded partner videos, which was recently announced on the Inside AdSense blog.

This change of policy (ads used to only appear on the videos when played on YouTube itself) is being dressed up as a boon to content partners but YouTube obviously also benefits from the deal.


Google needed to monetize YouTube in order to make back some of the $1.65 billion it invested in the site. But you can have too much of a good thing, and there’s a danger that the one resource YouTube has always been blessed with, viewers, will leave the site if the money-making schemes start to inflict on their enjoyment.