Google has been working hard to get a mobile version of YouTube onto as many handsets as possible over the past year or so. If you thought you were going to be able to watch those videos on your phone without having to watch advertisements, think again.Today in the Official Google Mobile Blog, Google laid it all on the line:
You may have noticed that we started running a test of display ads on select pages of the YouTube mobile site in the U.S. and Japan. This is our first step in testing mobile advertising for YouTube -- it will give you a new way to interact with content on the go, while allowing us to learn how video viewers engage with mobile advertising. Our test advertisers will also have an additional branding tool at their disposal and the opportunity to reach the millions of people who visit YouTube every day on their phones.
At YouTube, we are constantly testing new ways to deliver the kinds of ads that contribute to the user experience while making the most sense for advertisers, and we've learned a lot about what works for YouTube and what doesn't. We're excited to explore new approaches to mobile advertising, and will evaluate this test closely over the next several weeks to make sure we provide our community, our partners and advertisers with the most valuable and effective mobile experience possible.
I pulled out my iPhone and went to the YouTube application. In the half dozen videos I watched, I didn't see any ads, so the tests are not widespread. Yet. Have any of you noticed advertisements on your mobile YouTube application?
This has been a long time coming, and I am actually surprised that Google hasn't enabled this sooner. Google needs to make more money from its YouTube arm and this is one way to help offset the costs of creating all those mobile-specific clients.
We'll have to continue to pay attention and see how Google evolves the ads over time as the tests are completed. We can only hope that they aren't intrusive and don't take away from the mobile YouTube experience.