Video Advertising, Customization and Other Opportunities: YouTube v Video Platforms
As promised, the continuation of our post about the advantages of YouTube versus using an online video platform to host your video. Last time we discussed the relative reach and costs of both solutions, now we turn our attention to YouTube’s advertising policies, the potential benefits of becoming a YouTube partner and finally we look at customizing the YouTube player to match the look of your own site…
Google does not monetize all content on YouTube. Estimates put it at anywhere between 3-15% of all views on the site. By default, user content is not monetized by showing ads – unless you have a hamster that can play recorder you’ll never hear from the sales team.
If advertisers do not want to be associated with the user generated content on YouTube — simply put, they won’t.
One exception applies, though: if users use copyrighted materials in their videos (i.e. use copyrighted music, or upload film trailers) then ads may well appear. This is down to the video recognition system Google/YouTube uses – if you don’t believe me try uploading the same piece of video to your account twice.
Aside from this watermarking technology on copyrighted material, YouTube only monetizes partner content.
Monetization of video is primarily limited to advertising on YouTube. Google does not allow brand channel owners to buy advertising for display within their own content.
Therefore, if you plan to use video to enable people to purchase products or services on your site, or you run your own advertising network, you are probably better off developing something yourself.
And so to Partner Content…
YouTube offers three different kinds of channel. There’s the standard channel like the one we use, ‘Brand Channels’ and ‘Partner Channels’ differ from the normal user experience in terms of design/ownership, functionality and cost/revenue models.
Content from these partner channels is a key source of income for Google. This income is regulated by the contract that Google signs with parties who have interesting content that Google believes will drive advertising on YouTube.
Partners can be both professional media companies and YouTube viral hits.
Adverts placed around partner content are bought by advertisers looking to drive traffic back to their own sites.
Google offers these ‘Brand Channels’ to advertisers who are willing to commit media to YouTube and other sites within the Google Content Network – it’s difficult to confirm but the minimum spend is approx. £20k per quarter.
Adverts do not link back to the advertiser’s site, but are required to drive traffic to the YouTube brand channel.
This media investment is required to kick-start the channel. Average click-is about 0.2% so brands should not expect masses of traffic on their channel from the ads alone.
The extra design and functional features of a brand channel compared to a user channel are nonetheless worthwhile for brand owners: it provides a more professional image and leads to additional video views by having the “More from this channel” box expanded by default on YouTube’s watch page
Player customization can provide best results if you build it from scratch in flash. Although YouTube and other video sharing sites allow for some level of player customization it is quite basic. The chromeless player is about as close as you can get to the bespoke players offered by video platforms.
An often-heard argument is that brand owners want to prevent ‘related items’ from showing up in the embedded player on their own site, the fear being that if your competitor has uploaded videos to YouTube as well, they may end up being played on your website.
YouTube have addressed this. Simply by appending ’&rel=0&showsearch=0’ to the embed code on your own site or deselecting the option ‘Include related videos’ from the embed code customization menu, related content will not be displayed on your site.
So, now you can have a player that looks a little bit more like your site and stop it pumping out competitors’ videos. Next time we’ll discuss stats and social networking.