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YouTube showcases Paris in new homepage ad; and check out "PodTube"


YouTube, trying to make more money, has introduced a major advertisement on its homepage. It kicks off with Paris Hilton's debut album, Paris, released today.

YouTube is beginning to look more like Google. The ad is on the right-hand side, and the ad will rise and fall on the page, depending on how relevant the ad is with YouTube's users. In this case, the YouTube community will do more heavy lifting than Google's. Users rate the ad, share it and comment on it -- which determine the ad's placement. The Merc story today is here.

At the top of this first Paris video you will see that it is sponsoed by Fox Broadcasting Company's "Prison Break," the second season of which premiered Monday. It is what YouTube is calling its "participatory video ad" concept. Additionally, YouTube has created a "brand channel" concept, which in this case means that it has created a special seperate channel for Paris, at http://youtube.com/ParisHilton

This is the latest in YouTube's efforts to boost its advertising, which already includes banner ads, promotions and various sponsorships.

While we're mentioning YouTube, check out Djodjodesign's PodTube, which allows you to download YouTube videos on to your Video iPod.

If this develops and the iPod can easily download YouTube vidoes, then why would Apple need to buy YouTube, which is what some people are suggesting over at GigaOm? It would be sort of like eBay's acquisition of Skype. There's no real integration play here, because iPod users can view YouTube vidoes for free -- without any acquisition -- just as eBay's users can use Skype for free anyway. The only reason for an acquisition by Apple of YouTube would be to tap into YouTube's revenue growth early -- which could be substantial if YouTube can exploit more Paris Hiltons.

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