YouTube to Offer Video Ads

Aug 22, 2006  •  Post A Comment

YouTube.com struck advertising partnerships with Fox Broadcasting, Warner Bros. Records and the Weinstein Co. film studio that will place new spots on the viral video Web site’s homepage.

Starting Tuesday, YouTube added to its homepage a video promoting aspiring singer Paris Hilton’s new album. The clip, sponsored by Fox’s “Prison Break” show, features an introduction by Ms. Hilton that leads into a song from the album, which was released today.

YouTube, the most-visited video Web site, is trying to boost advertising revenue by introducing new ad formats that don’t alienate its users with overt commercialism. Ms. Hilton’s so-called participatory video ad and “brand channel” augment banner ads, promotions and sponsorships on the site.

“Our announcement today is just the beginning of the many new ad concepts we will be rolling out over the coming year,” said Chad Hurley, CEO and co-founder of YouTube, said in a statement.

YouTube is among dozens of Web companies competing for viewers and advertising money as more people spend time entertaining themselves on the Web or handheld gadgets. The Internet businesses are linking with established media companies to promote TV shows and films on their sites, and in June, YouTube formed a partnership with NBC to highlight episodes of “The Office.”

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, YouTube finished July with 30.5 million unique visitors, up from 19.6 million in June.

The participatory ad featuring Ms. Hilton lets viewers rate, share and comment on her new video. Today, the 3,918 YouTube users who rated the clip gave it a “Nothing Special” grade, awarding it two stars out of five.