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Somehow I had it in my head this wasn't supposed to be launched until later this year, but Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is apparently launching video ads in its YouTube subsidiary today. The approach will be a transparent ads in the bottom fifth of clips starting twenty seconds after a clip begins, and then disappearing after fifteen seconds.

Not all videos are eligible for advertising at this stage. YouTube has chosen to work with established media partners, such as Warner Music, in the first wave. Twenty advertisers, including BMW, the car group, and MGM, the film studio, have tested the service.

YouTube is charging about $20 per 1,000 views, with the revenue split between the website and the provider of the content. The scheme will be available only in the United States at first, but an international deployment, including in Britain, is expected within months.

Some other good stats from Google in the launch, including it bemoaning the high "abandonment rate" for pre-roll ads, and that only 10 percent of users choose to close image overlays as soon as they appear.

No word yet on the YouTube blog.

[via Times]

Source: Google Launches YouTube Video Ads