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Adsense cancels youtube video units product

Posted: March 28th, 2009 | 3 Comments »

adsensevideounitssunsetMost of you won’t be affected by this, since it seems very few people were using it. Google Adsense discontinued offering Youtube Video Units as part of their never-ending-search for youtube’s revenue model. As part of the program, Adsense users were able to find a youtube video, attach it to their Google Adsense account, and embed the ad-enabled video into their site. Then, they could sit back and let the Adsense for Video overlay money roll in while they slept. From an email they sent to Adsense account holders last week:

“After reviewing our AdSense video units feature, which allows you to show YouTube content and ads on your pages, we’ve found that it hasn’t had the impact we had hoped for. As a result, we’ve decided to retire this feature at the end of April so we can focus our resources on other opportunities to help publishers earn from their sites. “

What were the problems? We don’t really know, but let’s assume that Adsense publishers really did embed adsense-enabled youtube videos into their destinations. Here are some guesses as to why Youtube still might not have found success:

1) The ads were unable to correctly discern the context of the video in order to match relevant advertisers. Adsense works because of its unparalleled ability to contextually match an advertiser to related text content. Adsense for Video, however, is dependent on Google’s ability to read the tags and metadata attached to the video. The metadata for Youtube videos are created by the uploaders, which include things like “27309 1/9“. In that specific case, the video has no other metadata other than being in the “People and Blogs” category. Hard to create advertising relevancy with that level of information — even for Google. Therefore, not only could the viewer be negatively affected by irrelevant ads, but that leads to poor performance for the ad units.

2) The videos that people wanted to post don’t lend themselves to advertising. Many viral videos, as we know, are extreme, funny, or extremely funny. Most don’t lead the viewer to think, “Hmm…I would like to know more about a cheap plane ticket to Florida right now.” Even if Google was able to discern the context of the video through proper user-selected titling, tags and metadata, finding a relevant ad on the skateboarding cat is hard to do.

3) The age old problem: Branded advertisers want to know where their ad is showing up — not just on which embedded video, but on which embedding site. Advertisers on youtube video overlays often turn a blind eye to whether the video itself is appropriate content for their brand. If you pay by the click, sometimes you just care about the people who clicked, not the people who didn’t. However, in this program, the advertiser must also extend their ‘blind eye’ to include whether the embedding site is appropriate. If Youtube tries to sell CPM video deals with branded advertisers as opposed to applying only CPC affiliates, then the importance of knowing where the video is being played rises. Branded sponsors have too much at risk to tie themselves to unknown destinations, once they get over being tied to unknown video content.

We like the Google Adsense for Video service that places relevant Adsense overlays on video. For informational video content attached to rich metadata, there is no reason that GAFV shouldn’t be as successful for Google Adsense in generating revenue for video publishers. At Expo, we experience very rich RPM from GAFV and high CTR due to the relevance of the ads to our video content. A Krups coffeemaker video review will display a “Krups at Macys” overlay every time. We wouldn’t be able to do that without Google Adsense, but the bar for user gen video is as high as any other content to properly leverage Adsense’s strengths…metadata, quality and relevance of the content still matter.

UPDATE:  If you’re confused about all these monetization attempts on the part of Youtube, here is a clarifying page Adsense put up to help discern them all

Amazon Video Widget

Posted: March 26th, 2009 | No Comments »

UPDATE 8/24/09: Amazon kills Video Widget post

If you upload a video on amazon, there’s an insteresting app that will let you make referral money off it. Gets into a murky area if the video you’re uploading is a product review or claims to be unbiased, but it’s a cool tool regardless.
A friend of mine uploaded a product review to Amazon under my associates account, and I added a bunch of products to it. Some were irrelevant, but fun to add. Very simple. I like it. Lots of possibilities if Amazon can hone in on what video they’re looking for people to upload, and what behavior they want to reward.

Solvate: New New York City Business

Posted: March 25th, 2009 | No Comments »

Julie Ruvolo, who pops up everywhere on the digital scene all at the same time, has joined a startup that went alpha this month. www.solvate.com

The concept revolves around creating an uber-database covering answers to common customer service issues that people individually need to solve hundreds of times each day. Solvate allows frustrated customers to not have to re-invent the wheel each time one of us has a problem someone else had before. For example, something like “How can I return my cable box back to Time Warner so I can cancel my cable subscription” probably takes us 45 minutes working through TWC’s byzantine call centers before we find out our options. And even then, we probably only find the option that one customer service rep knows, which I bet would be a different option if we were connected to another rep on another day. Meanwhile, I know hundreds of other people had to have gone through this…why don’t I know what they know?

Solvate plans to standardize the ‘answers’ to these questions, so that Solvate agents (and I assume the online public) can provide fast solutions to the second client who asks the same question.

Solvate charges by the man-hour to find the solution, and is currently offering your first hour of agent time for free. So, I tried it out by asking about the best online site to find a deal for a Disney Cruise. I know that Disney itself doesn’t offer many deals directly to cruisers, but they do offer them to agents (who then can pass on the deals to cruisers). Solvate did work, I did get a list of places from “Ryan C”, my Solvate agent, that offered consistent specials and weren’t shaky fly-by-night travel sites. I’m not sure if it saved me time, since it was just an online search. But, I would guess that if my problem involved customer service reps, and phone calls, and escalations, and specific departments, Solvate would save me time and aggravation. And if I was the lucky second person that asked a question, I am sure that the pain of the first person would benefit me. I think the trick for Solvate is to hone in on the problems people would be willing to pay Solvate to solve. ate.

Good luck, Julie and Solvate. I’ll call you back when I need to cancel my cable subscription so I can get FiOS.

Victims can be rich, too, I guess.

Posted: March 25th, 2009 | No Comments »

While some of you might not have too much sympathy for Jake DeSantis who resigned from AIG, I think that we should all feel sorry for ourselves that talent is definitely draining away from solving the complex, intricate problems we have before us.

On the one hand, I’m incensed that ex-Countrywide executives who caused the problems are able to participate in the solution for additional personal gain. But I also turned to my husband yesterday and said, “Why in the hell is Edward Liddy still working at AIG? Why doesn’t he just say ‘Screw it. YOU people try to solve this problem’ and walk away?” He’s got these idiot Congressmen judging him who can’t even figure out their own taxes. Does anyone realize that he was ASKED to take this job by Treasury Sec’y Paulson? “Six months ago, I came out of retirement to help my country,” Liddy said at yesterday’s House Financial Services subcommittee hearing in Washington. If we’re going to make a scapegoat of someone innocent, we should at least pick someone who was there when the crime occurred.

I have limited sympathy for this guy who wrote the AIG letter above, because I am *sure* in his career he was overpaid, and the money that he says he earned for AIG was enabled by a machine *he knew* was overpriced, overcomplicated, and under-financed. But, we should be careful when John Q Public thinks he knows how best to run these companies, lest we end up driving away people who really do. I certainly don’t want Senators with “wide stances” in charge of maximizing the value during the wind down of a complex financial derivative product company. But I guess beggars can’t be choosers.

Wefollow & ExecTweets

Posted: March 24th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Noticed in facebook, lots of people have ‘registered’ themselves on wefollow. they’re trying to start a tag-based directory.

My tweets, trying to stay industry or expo-relevant are tagged under #consumer #socialmedia #video: http://twitter.com/daphnekwon

Also, to cut the clutter of ridiculous spam Tweets, here is ExecTweets, created by Federated Media, powered by Microsoft

Note, I’m not followed by exectweets, so you know it must be good. :)

New Info Shopper – Not new, but a shopper.

Posted: March 20th, 2009 | 1 Comment »

iMedia’s Sean Egen followed up on a WSJ story about the New Info Shopper. I thought I’d follow up his question: “You might be a New Info Shopper if….”
…you wished the display computers at the Best Buy store were connected so you could surf the web before you bought
…you look at a magazine ad and wish you could click on the URL at the bottom
…you actually thought the Facebook Beacon about what your friends bought was interesting, not the ultimate symbol of privacy being invaded
…you’d buy your second choice item on Amazon because it had customer reviews, rather than your first choice that no one reviewed


bit.ly: tracking your short URLs

Posted: March 9th, 2009 | No Comments »

There are probably many tools out there, but if @mattcutts is using bit.ly, then it’s probably on the better side. When you’re signed in, you get your shortened url (e.g., http://bit.ly/10UdcG). I can now track when someone clicks on that short URL. I can see weird stuff like from what country, but I can also see useful stats like what site you clicked from (twitter, blogger, facebook). I can also see if someone else copied the URL into their own Tweet as well. Movie trailers seem to get picked up pretty well by others!

Testing Pluck on demand

Posted: March 4th, 2009 | No Comments »

if you see a lot of crazy unrelated things and ads on my site, i’m testing pluck on demand. more later.

Update: So far the note to myself is that I think Pluck thinks i’m an ultra-conservative right-winger because I wrote about Sarah Palin months ago. Doesn’t seem to be able to discern the substance of my post. I’m sure this post today is also going to contribute to Pluck’s perception of me! I have to stop saying Sarah Palin. Whoops.

Update:  Pluck is getting better because my posts are more directed.  I like the articles it is surfacing, even clicked on one.

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