Following another round of product and performance reviews, Google has decided to shut down their video ads feature, just over a year after it was introduced.
According to the Google AdSense blog, the AdSense video unit, which enables publishers to show YouTube content and ads on their pages, on a revenue sharing basis, has not performed as well as it was expected to do, and Google will discontinue the service at the end of this month.
Publishers who wish to continue publishing video content from YouTube can do so directly through YouTube.com, but they will not earn any revenue for this.
Video ads will remain functional and will continue to appear on AdSense-enabled pages of publishers who enable the the image ads option.
Google will continue to accept ads from registered publishers until the end of this month (April). New publishers will no longer be able to incorporate video units on their sites.
While Google says they are taking this step to better focus on other opportunities, to help their publishers earn better, it seems suspiciously like yet another move to beat the recession.
Only last month Search Engine Round Table had pointed out that AdSense publishers were upset and complained on two separate AdSense forum threads that their sites were generating very little revenue from AdSense video units. Some of the comments posted on the AdSense forum were:
“My revenue is down more than 50%. There were people who were expecting to earn $200 in January and instead earned $80. I was expecting $1000-$2000 and earned a little over $80.”
“I had $67 in Content Host earnings (63,600 views/1000 clicks) and only $17 in YouTube earnings… sheesh”
One reason for this poor performance could be the current economy. Another could be the fact that it is difficult to target ads consistently based on videos.
It is relevant to note that Google is struggling to monetise YouTube, and this could be the first sign that Google is accepting the fact that it might never be as successful with video advertising as it is with search.