YouTube has unveiled the first step of its advertising strategy - selling videos on its home page and on pages created by advertisers.
The advertiser-created pages launch with a site made by Warner Bros. Records to promote Paris Hilton's record Paris, released today (Aug. 22). Fox Broadcasting has paid to advertise its returning drama Prison Break, which premiered Aug. 21, on the Hilton ad page. YouTube and Warner Bros. will split the revenue from that deal.
The move comes as the much buzzed-about viral video site struggles to monetize its popularity. The site, which reports some 100 million video views each day, has so far run static text and display ads. At a recent digital conference YouTube co-founder/CEO Chad Hurley said he was not a fan of the pre-roll video ads that sites like Yahoo often force viewers to watch before free video. It also comes after YouTube executives have said they are looking to license the rights to free music videos on the site.
In addition to the advertiser-created pages, YouTube is offering advertisers the ability to place video ads on the site's main page, according to published reports. YouTube would charge for the number of users it has, rather than on a per-view basis.
The site will now allow advertisers to pay to have their videos displayed prominently on YouTube's home page, charging based on the number of users regardless of whether the consumers actually watch the videos. A user needs to click on the advertising video before it plays.