YouTube Launches Ads on Mobile Website

Google announced the launch of display ads on YouTube today in the US and Japanese markets:

[T]oday, we're launching ads on the home, search, and browse pages of the American and Japanese YouTube mobile websites (m.youtube.com from your mobile browser). This is a great way for advertisers to reach YouTube viewers across multiple platforms. In fact, at launch YouTube will immediately provide one of the largest audiences for a mobile ad campaign anywhere on the mobile web. And because YouTube mobile attracts early adopters, the site can deliver to advertisers a coveted demographic of tech savvy trendsetters. 

YouTube has always been part of Google's display advertising story, now extending into mobile. The company has moved to acquire leading mobile ad network AdMob, which has not been finalized. Interestingly, the YouTube iPhone app doesn't feature any ads. And I wonder if Google is trying to avoid running afoul of Apple's somewhat murky policy against doing geotargeted ads against non-geotargeted content (assuming that geotargeting is available).

The Mazda ad on the homepage that you see below appears to be a pure national awareness ad without even a dealer locator. The image below (on the left) is of the mobile Web version of YouTube and (on the right), the iPhone App:

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Google reported that traffic to the mobile version of YouTube was way up:

The . . . site traffic grew by over 160% in 2009, and now millions of people all over the world are streaming tens of millions of videos every day on their mobile phones.