YouTube Names First CMO

Video-Sharing Site Ramps Up Marketing Model

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NEW YORK ( -- YouTube has appointed Suzie Reider as its first chief marketing officer. Ms. Reider, who last served as CNET's senior VP-general manager of entertainment, joined the fledgling media company last week and is reporting directly to Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder and CEO.
YouTube's new CMO will try to turn its user base into ad dollars.
YouTube's new CMO will try to turn its user base into ad dollars.

Building its management infrastructure on the fly, the year-and-a-half-old YouTube appointed its first chief financial officer, Gideon Yu, earlier this month. Mr. Yu came from Yahoo, where he had been senior VP-finance.

Sustainable models
YouTube's small marketing team, including Senior Director Julie Supan and VP-Sales Tony Nethercutt, now reports directly to Ms. Reider. The company has about 60 employees.

As pressure mounts from private investors, Ms. Reider's first and foremost responsibility will be to turn YouTube's enormous user base into ad dollars. During the last several months, the startup has placed greater emphasis on sustainable ad models -- as in those that don't scare away users -- and licensing deals meant to fend off persistent legal issues.

Marketing experiments
Two programs recently introduced on YouTube point to the types of marketing the video-sharing site is experimenting with. Last week, Cingular Wireless agreed to back a search for the YouTube's most talented unsigned bands -- a promotion that struck at the core of rival MySpace, which was founded on the premise of exposing unsigned artists to large audiences online. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC will feature the finalists on "Good Morning America" in November.

YouTube also struck a revenue-sharing deal with Warner Music Group, which will distribute and license its copyrighted content through the hugely popular video-sharing site.

'Participatory video ads'
While specifics are a closely held secret, the majority of YouTube's videos are streamed on its site, not on sites that host its video player, Ms. Supan said. For that reason and the company's desire not to offend, Ms. Supan insists there are no plans to include ads on hosted players. "It's mainly a marketing tool," she said.

In late August, YouTube unveiled an ad strategy called participatory video ads, which allows members of the community to rate the videos, comment on them and list them as their favorites. The ads can also be shared and embedded into users' own video creations. Warner Bros. Records, Weinstein Co. and Fox Broadcasting Co. were the first sponsors to sign on to promote their movies.

In August, YouTube drew 34 million unique visitors, up from 3.5 million at the start of the year, according to ComScore Media Metrix.

Ms. Reider assumed the position of CNET's senior VP-entertainment only recently, when Vince Broady vacated the post for a similar position at Yahoo.
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