Mobile YouTube, much like the regular site, hasn't been making Google a great deal of money. But the company's efforts to monetize the mammoth video site are finally hitting mobile devices, Android only for now, with the introduction of pre-roll ads.To sweeten the deal, Google is also making available thousands of music videos from Vevo on mobile devices for the first time. Incidentally, Vevo is also launching its own app dedicated to the videos it hosts.
"We’re welcoming VEVO’s extensive library of official music videos from artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kanye West and U2 onto the YouTube 2.0 app for Android, available around the world. To watch these videos your mobile phone needs to be running Android 2.2," YouTube announced.
"In addition to these features, tens of thousands of YouTube partner videos will also now have pre-roll ads appear on the YouTube 2.0 app for Android," it added.
YouTube was one of Google's biggest early acquisitions. The price tag did more than raise eyebrows, it had many question whether Google would ever be able to recoup it and make money from online video.
Five years later, officially, YouTube is still not turning a profit, but it is estimated to be bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars a year for Google.
Now YouTube is turning its attention to the mobile space. The YouTube app has had ads on the homepage but that was it in terms of monetization.
That's changing and you should get used to pre-roll ads in the mobile app, only in the Android version for now. YouTube has traditionally shied away from pre-roll ads, but they're probably the best solution for mobile devices.
It seems that it was the right time as well, YouTube revealed that it gets about 200 million views from mobile devices each day, three times more than at the start of 2010.
Vevo is also launching its own app. In fact, for iPhone and iPad users, it will be the only way to get access to the music videos, at least until the iOS YouTube app is updated as well.