Google has announced a new initiative designed to help them monetize YouTube content. The new program is called Video Units, and it allows publishers to incorporate YouTube videos onto their site, while monetizing them through the AdSense program. The AdSense ads display in the video player both above and below the video.
The publisher is able to configure the basic look and feel of the player through a selection of colors and player size. The publisher can also exercise control over the nature of the videos shown. The choices they can make are:
- Automatic - let Google/YouTube figure out what content to show on your site
- Automatic with keyword hints - Still decided by Google and YouTube, but you get to give the algorithm some hints
- Choose categories - You can steer the process further by selecting the specific categories you want your video content to come from
- Choose specific providers - You can also choose the providers you want to get your content from
Once the publisher has made their configuration choices, they can click a button to generate code for the player to put on their web site. One of the key steps is to provide Google with your AdSense ID and your YouTube ID (you need both).
The program is being pitched primarily as a method of incorporating content into your site. The idea is that the embedded videos will provide increased stickiness for your site traffic. Of course, it's also nice that you can monetize the video right on the spot as well.
You can read more about the program on the AdSense Blog. The video in the blog post provides a great overview of the program.