August 27, 2009

Adsense on You Tube: How is it going to help?

Google is finally opening up Adsense for You Tube Users. So far, monetizing content was the privilege of a few. From now on, Google will let the owners of popular videos join the Adsense Programme and make some money out of it. What are the implications of such a move?

People say Google is struggling to make good money out of You Tube, though it is a very popular web service. People watch You Tube Videos a lot more times than any other video site in the world, to the extend of forcing Microsoft host their Jingle Video Contest on it. Yet, it seems, You Tube fails to deliver in terms of dollars.

I can understand why people want to watch videos on You Tube - it is entertaining. But it is not enough that the videos are entertaining to make some good bucks out of it. Let me tell you why I think so! There are only two reasons as I can see why people would want to upload content on You Tube. Let me explain - there are only two kinds of videos on You Tube. One, personal videos that you want your friends and family to watch. Two, promotional videos or videos that are advertisements themselves. So people upload videos only for personal reasons or because they want to promote their brand. What does this lead to? This is a serious limitation.

Pay-per-click Advertising survives only if people have reasons to click on the links. The most legitimate reason to click an advertisement is the interest of the person who clicks, in the product. Now, imagine that you are watching a home video that I produced because you are my friend. Let us say, the video is on how my dog eats food. And Contextual Advertising would probably put an advertisement on Dog Food along with the video. I am damn sure no one would click that advertisement. Because people who watch that video are going to watch it not because they want to know more about Dog Food, but because they know me and they are curious to know what I'm up to. If I am lucky, the video will become viral and a few more people would watch it. They too would watch it not because they are interested in Dog Food, but because they are curious to know what is happening. No wonder Google makes no money out of You Tube.

Talk about promotional video content. Watching such stuff usually takes us to other sites, if I am interested in what I am watching. And there again Google loses out in the game as in the You Tube Model, Video is much more important than anything else on the site.

And here comes Google with this cool idea - let users monetize their videos. Probably the JK Wedding Dance inspired the idea. Which ever way, all of us are going to gain from this decision. How? Look at the key to this idea - Google is going to let only the publishers of popular content monetize their videos. Some people say Google is doing this because they are worried they can not monetize all the content on You Tube. Some are so worried about how advertisers will have to put up with sponsoring things they do not want to sponsor. But I am not worried about anything. I look at this decision as an opportunity for publishers to make good money out of what they post. I am sure in the days to come You Tube is going to be more than just personal videos and promotional videos. I'm sure You Tube is going to see more quality content as publishers compete to make videos that make people watch. I am sure people are going to come back and watch videos and click on the advertisements because they are interested in what they are watching and advertisements will hopefully cater to their interests. And I'm sure slowly You Tube will become another research tool as more quality content is going to show up.

After Thought: Now we know one reason why Google bought ON2. I'm waiting for the rest of the reasons to surface.

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