Embeds are Octopusy
When I first came across embeds, namely youtube type video embeds, I thought them strategically stupid. If you could view the whole video, why would anyone go to the site. Some would, but many wouldn’t. Though they have made the whole embed (except the controls) a link to that page on their site. But that relies on users mistakenly clicking on it.
They could have put in the first 20% then show some text which says, “To view the remaining video please go to this page”. There could have been many ways in which more people could be diverted to their site. And currently the site is where the advertising money is. Is their another reason they decided to put the whole video in the embed?
Recently I saw the related and more videos inside the embeds, in youtube. Also users can customize their embeds with playlists. Now this is even more amazing. Earlier with just one video, some people would still like to go the site to view the related videos, but now even that has come to the embed. This clearly proves that there definitely is some thought behind this. Now what could that be?
I found this video in Mashup, it is a recorded sighting of an ad inside a youtube embed.
Companies like Revlayer (not active right now), have come up, offering solutions for embed ads.And I think this is just the beginning. Initially the embeds may have seemed a very philanthropic venture.
Now people are changing there embed codes into DIVs. Which means we could start seeing even google adsense ads in the embeds. Also sites can use that space for flashing news, announcements, etc. And why can’t they start doing registrations from embeds too?
If I could use a little exaggerated analogy, while embeds started of on a parallel to a TV network. Each embed was a channel with just one program. Now it has changed to each channel having many programs (the related videos). In the long run, I guess it will change into a multi-headed vacuum cleaner sucking in eyeballs.
And so gradually these sites will start monetizing the billion square pixels real estate on so many embeds.
Editted on 24th jan 2008
Revver has started showing text ads over their video player. See the image.
Very good analysis. Love the analogy – of sites with tentacles (embeds) all over the web.
The ad screenshot you showed reminds me of the ads on cable tv that run while a movie is playing. I’ve never seen anything like that in America: it seems to be a South Asian innovation.
Maybe some Indian engineers at google / youtube came up with the idea? ;->
In this viral world, embeds are the self replicating unit of the virus. Thats how it spreads. The selfish gene. Meme. Darwin.