Almost a year after shelling out $1.65 billion to acquire YouTube, Google is set to launch what it hopes will be an unobtrusive way for companies to advertise on videos hosted at the popular website.
Starting today, semi-transparent animated overlay ads will show up briefly on the bottom 20 percent of videos. By clicking on the ad, users can see it in full while the original video is paused. YouTube will share revenue from the advertising with content owners and will charge advertisers $20 for every 1,000 ads shown.
"Our reach has become very wide at this point," Shashi Seth, a YouTube product manager, said in an interview. "That certainly is very enticing for both our content partners and marketing partners."
Finding a way to monetize the service has proved a big headache for Google, as much of its success came from users sharing copyrighted content. Initially, YouTube is only placing ads on content from select partners, and stated it has no plans to place advertising on user-generated clips at the moment.