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YouTube “First Watch” Video Advertising Program Debuts

The NY Times is reporting that Google is testing a new program for pre-roll on YouTube called “First Watch.” The first time you watch a video produced by a YouTube partner each day, expect to see a new type of pre-roll advertisement called First Watch.

First Watch videos won’t appear on user-generated videos.

YouTube advertisers involved in the test have included Tommy Hilfiger, Hotels.com, Lifetime, Macy’s, and Virgin Mobile.

[A]n advertiser can buy a preroll spot on most people’s first view of a YouTube video each day . . . The commercials on the youtube.com home page have been “highly successful,” Baljeet Singh, senior product manager for video monetization at YouTube . . . They’ve been so successful, he added, that they’re “starting to sell out.”

YouTube has been testing the ads, which’ve thus far only been seen by about 15 million users. YouTube reports a 1% click-through rate.

This’s an extension of YouTube’s “masthead” ads – the ads that begin playing when you visit YouTube’s homepage, such as today you’ll find an ad for the HP Veer.

[Via: NY Times]

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