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Google flips switch on mobile YouTube banner ads

Phone vid traffic up '160%'

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Google is now serving ads on the mobile incarnation of YouTube.

Today, the Mountain View web giant announced that it has officially launched ads on the home, search, and browse pages of its mobile YouTube site (m.youtube.com) in the US and Japan.

After running ad tests on the site that date back to at least the summer of 2008, Google has settled on banner ads for the platform. These will be sold on a full-day basis, as they are on the desktop YouTube homepage.

The company says that traffic on the mobile YouTube grew 160 per cent in 2009, with "millions" of users streaming "tens of millions" of videos every day. The company claims that the site provides "one of the largest audiences for a mobile ad campaign anywhere on the mobile web."

In recent months, Google has steadily expanded ad offerings across YouTube's original desktop incarnation, adding everything from video overlay ads to search ads. As Google works to expand advertising on the site, YouTube is still very much in the red, but it's unclear how much Google is actually losing - or how much YouTube is saving the company when you consider that its traffic gives the company some serious bulk-bandwidth purchasing power. ®

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