Google/YouTube Deal Will Bring Contextual Video Ads

Q&A With Google's Consumer Products Chief Marissa Mayer

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NEW YORK ( -- Marissa Mayer, Google's director-consumer products, was in New York late last week for a panel discussion at Bryant Park Grill hosted by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and she talked with Advertising Age's Gavin O'Malley about YouTube's potential. Ms. Mayer, 31, has achieved near figurehead status of late, seen as one of Google's brightest lights with a hand in every move the company makes.
Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer

MediaWorks: What is the status of Google's video-search capability?

Marissa Mayer: We're really excited to have the addition of YouTube, because video search could advance a lot. Right now we're seeing relevance, but being able to understand what a video is about really requires there to be some technological advances. Now we're using tagging to interpolate that.

MediaWorks: How far along is YouTube in filtering out copyrighted and offensive material, and what steps will Google take to accelerate that process?

Ms. Mayer: Right now we allow people to flag that content. Over time we'll come up with more automated means and methods for [filtering out copyrighted content].

MediaWorks: Is it fair to assume Google will extend its contextual ad network to YouTube videos?

Ms. Mayer: Ultimately we would like to have contextual targeting in place. I'm speculating, but I think there's the ability to do much better contextual targeting if we get a lot of commercial videos uploaded. We might also be able to allow content providers to tell us what videos would run well alongside their video -- which also is, in some ways, more exciting because we may or may not have a personal profile of that person watching; we may or may not understand the context of the video, and be able to do the targeting.

MediaWorks: YouTube's founders have until now considered "preroll" a dirty word. Can the site succeed financially in the long run without preroll video ads?

Ms. Mayer: Right now we're too early in the iteration phase to rule anything either in or out.
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