Friday, August 25, 2006

YouTube Starts Selling Video Ads

It's a first for the company. But the ads are a little different from the usual fare:
Paris Hilton's face is shiny. The lighting is bad, and she's sitting against yellow wall, filmed with what appears to be an amateur's video camera."Hey, YouTubers, it's Paris," she says to the camera, followed by a clip of her latest video and an invitation to check out the "Paris Hilton channel" on

Her appearance on the Internet's most popular video site is part of a new advertising strategy announced yesterday by YouTube, a year-old Internet phenomenon that has yet to find a viable revenue stream. By midday, the Paris Hilton video -- found at a home page location that YouTube will be selling to advertisers -- had attracted 155,000 views and more than 600 comments from visitors. The company said it would sell the upper right corner to advertisers for an undisclosed daily rate, also allowing them to create special YouTube "channels," for which they would be charged based on the number of page visitors.

"It's giving brands and advertisers a new way to provide new material to the YouTube community," YouTube chief executive Chad Hurley said. "This gives them a chance to create a viral video," he said, referring to fast user-to-user spread.

YouTube visitors will have to click on the video ad to activate it, and its appeal will be measured by the number of visitors who choose to watch it, share it and provide a short commentary below the clip.