There's been a lot of talk lately about Google's decision to begin using YouTube as an advertising mechanism – particularly by in-lining ads with videos. Some have praised it as a viable way for Google to rake in more dough, others have criticized it as a dumbing down of good services. Either way, nobody has really known how Google intends to pull it off.
This week, however, Google is showing it off. They are introducing “video units” via AdSense, which will enable people and companies relying on AdSense to use YouTube content in different ways:
Video units enable AdSense publishers to display videos from several YouTube content partners. The video units are ad-supported, and the ads are relevant to both the video and the site content, as well as unobtrusive.
What exactly defines a “YouTube content partner” will be the key word here. It would be a sad day indeed if they decided to make “free” accounts a content partner while crafting “premium” memberships for those who wished for their own clips to remain ad-free. That seems unlikely, however, given the current state of their other services such as Gmail.
The AdSense blog has a FAQ concerning the new ads, though it is geared towards the advertisers and not the end users. The most interesting question answered is the first one, which plainly states that only people (or partners) who choose to participate in this will do such. It also mentions how the ads will be displayed, either as in an overlay at the bottom of the video (like a news ticker) or above the actual video itself.