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YouTube's new APIs and how Google will monetize them

YouTube rolled out a series of new APIs that turn the site into a wide-ranging video service, but the more interesting aspect may be monitoring how Google's monetization strategy plays into the announcement.First, the APIs.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributing Editor on

YouTube rolled out a series of new APIs that turn the site into a wide-ranging video service, but the more interesting aspect may be monitoring how Google's monetization strategy plays into the announcement.

First, the APIs. YouTube said on its blog that its site has become a cloud video service. To that end, YouTube has announced the following API services that allow developers and partners to do the following:

  • Upload videos and video responses to YouTube
  • Add/Edit user and video metadata (titles, descriptions, ratings, comments, favorites, contacts, etc)
  • Fetch localized standard feeds (most viewed, top rated, etc.) for 18 international locales
  • Perform custom queries optimized for 18 international locales
  • Customize player UI and control video playback (pause, play, stop, etc.) through software

YouTube noted that Electronic Arts is using the APIs and others are likely to follow. This YouTube as a service riff is really a no brainer, but things get interesting when you layer in Google's monetization strategy. On Monday, Tim Armstrong, president of advertising and commerce in North America, talked up YouTube's display ad potential.

Armstrong said Google was taking its time monetizing YouTube, but clearly sees 2008 and 2009 as big years for display ads on the video site and elsewhere. Meanwhile, YouTube gets a lot of traffic via social networking sites. These APIs will help put YouTube everywhere and Google's ads--delivered via video and most likely widgets--will ride shotgun at some point.

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