YouTube Adds Record, Film Promotions

NEW YORK said it would begin two new promotions for established media companies, as the company tries to establish its popular video-sharing service as a legitimate ad vehicle.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company this week began showing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” video in a promotional effort for Hollywood Records, which is selling a Queen Stone Cold Classics compilation.

The video, which is in YouTube’s “Featured” section on its home page, encourages viewers to tune into American Idol, which last night and tonight is featuring contestants singing Queen songs.

YouTube said it would also begin another film promotion on Friday, when it hosts a preview of Clerks II, the Kevin Smith sequel to his 1994 movie about slacker video store employees. The site is running the preview in partnership with The Weinstein Company, whose agency, Deep Focus, has used YouTube previously to promote films like Scary Movie 4.

Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

YouTube is trying to introduce a sustainable advertising model to its site, which has seen its popularity explode. Its traffic has grown from 500,000 in October to 9 million in February, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. It has made arrangements with companies like E! and MTV to show previews in its “Featured Videos” section.

With its large amount of traffic, YouTube is proving that it can drive impressive amounts of sampling for media companies. The Scary Movie 4 trailer was viewed 1 million times, including 250,000 the first day. So far, “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been watched 50,000 times. It has received four-and-a-half out of five stars in user ratings.