Google Video Units – Free Content that Pays

Google, in their never ending mission to expand their sphere of influence and develop new revenue streams, has launched an innovative new spin on video content embedding they’re calling Video Units.

The new program takes the limitless content from YouTube and offers it to AdSense publishers, who can embed it in their site with a lean code snippet. The content of the videos can be hand-picked by the publisher, chosen from a variety of categories, or determined by Google with its complicated relevancy algorithms. The videos display in a very customizable players and feature contextual ads at the top of the video and as text overlays in the video content (similar to the contentious ad overlays YouTube added to their website a few months ago). Not only do publishers get free, easily customizable video content for their site, but they get a cut of the ad revenue, which is also split between Google and the video’s creator.

The program is an absolutely brilliant move by Google, as it has the potential of expanding the YouTube brand massively, as well pushes forward embedded video content on sites internet-wide and will be a great testing ground for how these kinds of ads are accepted by users. And while I’m sure the content providers are carefully screened at this point for quality control (as well they should be!), it may end up becoming a great method for independent filmmakers to get additional revenue for their work.