Around 41% of traffic to YouTube comes from mobile devices and up until now monetizing that digital footfall has been tricky. However, the site looks to be introducing its homepage-takeover ad format for its mobile apps - in the form of native advertising. Viewers will be presented with an ad that looks like a regular video listing, but with a yellow tag marker which identifies it as a video ad. The new format, which appears at the top of the "What To Watch" section of the mobile site, is thought to be already available to advertisers - although we're not seeing it just yet.

A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the redesign marks the first time the mobile masthead ad appears in YouTube's mobile apps:

"We created a video masthead unit that makes it easier for advertisers to run homepage takeovers on YouTube across devices".

BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, the first to spot the new design, demonstrates the new mobile ad unit in the following video:

You can find further info on the new ad structure from the BTIG site (registration required).

  • Christophor Rick

    I don't know that that's technically "Native" advertising. Yes it is in the "what to watch" section and yes it's a video, like most advertising on YouTube. But it states it's an ad, while native advertising is specifically designed to look like content. Maybe Google is just future-proofing it so when the FCC finally makes some determination on the fact that native advertising is misleading and deceptive (attempting to trick consumers into viewing the ad while believing it's content) they can say "we have already tagged them all as ads in our app." It's most assuredly a paid placement by FOX in this situation, probably for a hefty sum no doubt. I checked on both the iPad and my Android phone and didn't get it. I guess I'm not FOX's target audience (Woo!). Monetization of mobile in the YouTube is done the same way as other content on YouTube with pre-roll ads as far as I can see on Android (haven't seen an ad on the iPad yet today). Granted they're losing out on video overlay ads but who clicks on them anyway? :) I think what they really need is a new way to monetize the limited screen real estate on the mobile devices. I'm also curious if FOX is paying per view or CPM on that particular placement or if it was a set rate...I'll want to dig around on this further I think.