NEW YORK (AdAge.com) - What a difference a year makes.
Twelve months ago, YouTube was trying to shake off its pariah status among all but the most risk-taking marketers. Today? Well, just try buying the home page.
Whether it ultimately becomes the profit machine Google hopes it will be - or perhaps just mildly profitable, as expected in 2010 - last year YouTube achieved something many thought it never would: It became a must-buy for entertainment marketers and an option for anyone trying to reach the younger demographic. That's been helped along by Google, which has rolled out literally dozens of ways for large and small advertisers, from big homepage ads to pre-rolls and overlays, paid placements and search ads over the past 18 months.
"When I took this job a year and a half ago, people kept asking 'What is going to be the equivalent of the Google text ad for YouTube?'" said YouTube Ad Director Shishir Mehrotra. "What we realized is there is no one ad format for video, because consumers come to YouTube to do different things."
The biggest evidence of the shift in market perception is YouTube's home page itself, which was sold out in the fourth quarter, and is the subject of bidding wars among movie studios on Thursdays and Fridays to promote weekend openings.
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