YouTube Starts Producing Free Video Ads for Small Businesses

YouTube logo light Youtube youtube
Courtesy of YouTube

YouTube wants to lure in more small businesses as advertisers, and is giving away free professional video shoots to do so: The Google-owned video site launched a new program Wednesday to produce free professional video ads for small businesses that commit to spend at least $150 of their ad dollars on YouTube.

Director onsite, as the program is being called, is initially available in six metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C.. YouTube is looking to expand it into additional cities in the future.

Businesses who decide to participate can choose from a number of sector-specific video templates. YouTube them teams them up with a local filmmaker who will write a short script and visit the business for a two- to three-hour video shoot. The final video will then be placed on YouTube with the help of an ad specialist.

Giving away video productions is an interesting move for YouTube. The service clearly hopes that businesses will continue to use their ads beyond the first $150 of ad spending. But the move also goes to show that YouTube now has to compete on multiple fronts to retain and grow its advertising revenue.

New platforms like Snapchat are aggressively starting to go after video advertisers. The social upstart launched its own advertising API to allow businesses to buy advertising through third-party ad tech platforms. Twitter is also looking to run more video ads on its platform. But perhaps the biggest threat comes from Facebook, which has been making huge inroads with small and medium businesses. Facebook had over three million active advertisers on its platform in Q1 of 2016, according to recent company data.

In addition to Director onsite, YouTube announced a number of additional tools for business advertisers Wednesday. These include a new YouTube director for business app, which allows small businesses to shoot their own apps with an iPhone, as well as an automated ad production program for app developers.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 7

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Anna Johnson says:

    Definitely, these types of offers are damn useful for small scale business owners, especially for the startup owners who are just like a toddler in silicon valley. As online video marketing is changing the trends of marketing now so, therefore, I strongly recommend to small scale business owners to at least invest some capital in it. Most of the time it could be a win-win situation.
    Thanks Janko for sharing this article with us!

  2. Good to know priceless info like this.

  3. Rachel says:

    Video marketing is such a great tool for businesses, so it’s great that Youtube is giving them this opportunity. I’d love to see Youtube spread to other cities for this opportunity, and give some businesses the much needed opportunity to shoot a video. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Definitely an interesting development. Video marketing materials are very important to most businesses. That’s what my company does — produce corporate videos for a variety of business sizes. We usually find the quality of such inexpensive offerings to be questionable at best. I don’t believe in a race to the bottom, but for clients who can’t afford otherwise it’s not a bad solution.

  5. Shane says:

    So basically its not free if you have to spend $150. $150 is not bad at all for a pro shoot but still wouldnt call that free.

    • The $150 is paying for the advertising reach, not the video shoot, or ad itself. They’re providing up to three hours with a local videographer and then assistance from an ad specialist for a minimum spend of $150. Where else can you find a deal like that?

    • Dan says:

      Will there be a “pro shoot” they say local videographers….anyone with a camera

More Digital News from Variety