Google has launched an advertising service that lets Australian YouTube users promote their videos for a fee.
The Promoted Videos service lists advertisers' videos in a distinct column among relevant search results.
It is built on Google's AdWords and priced on a Cost-per-Click (CPC) basis. Advertisers bid for priority and listings are determined by CPC bid and relevance to each search query.
Citing Google's ‘democratic' values, YouTube product manager Jay Akkad said its targeted everyone from individuals looking to pay $5 a day, to corporations spending more than $10,000.
He named Nike's popular video of basketballer Kobe Bryant jumping over an Aston Martin as an example of how corporations could use YouTube to reach a wide audience.
"There are many great examples on YouTube," he told iTnews. "The content has to be compelling. If you move away from TV ads, there are real opportunities to engage with users and be more flexible with time."
Promoted Videos launches today in Australia. It was launched in Canada, Japan and Western Europe earlier this month and has been available in the US since last November where it was 'very successful', Akkad said
But it was only a part of Google's plan to make money from YouTube, which it bought in October 2006 for US$1.65 billion and has yet to turn a profit.
Akkad said that Google's strategy was based on user behaviour.
When users arrive on the site's landing page, they see a prominent advertisement. As they search for videos, they are targeted by Promoted Videos advertisers.
And as they watch videos, they may be contextually targeted by relevant video suggestions or calls to action through an in-video overlay.
"We've discovered that there is no one selling point," Akkad said. "Promoted Videos is certainly one part of that [making money from YouTube] strategy."
"We're certainly very bullish on Promoted Videos. It's been very successful in the US and we think it will do well here in Australia as well."
YouTube attracted more than a billion video views a day and 20 hours of video uploads a minute.