Google Brings Commerce To YouTube

Google is adding features to YouTube’s pre-video ad scrolls in an effort to monetize the online video experience, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday (May 21).

Under the new platform, which is being tested among advertisers, the pre-video scrolls, known formally as TrueView ads, generate offers and promos that users can click on and be whisked away to the advertiser’s site.

The revenue model for Google will remains the same: someone watches the ad for 30 seconds without pressing the skip option, and the Internet giant gets paid.

The Journal reported that online furniture retailer Wayfair has tested the new ads, and has found that they saw three times greater revenue from the enhanced ads than the traditional TrueView offerings.

Ben Young, the media manager for the retailer’s TV and online business, told WSJ there’s no additional payment to Google if the viewer does indeed opt to use the new shopping features – but if there is more business generated from the ad clicks, then advertisers may elect to pony up more, which in turn brings more money to YouTube.

The overlay puts customers in “more of a shopping mindset and they are more likely to come to our website and buy,” said Ben Young, Wayfair’s media manager for TV and online video, according to WSJ. He also stated that the ads may promote “more of a shopping mindset” among viewers “and they are more likely to come to our website and buy.”

The new technology is likely an attempt to stem YouTube’s downward pressure on Google’s company-wide ad prices. The WSJ notes that advertisers often pay less than they would for traditional Google search ads, due to the fact that they are viewed as being farther away from deciding to “click and buy” than are users who seek out product info on their own initiative.