youtube.jpgAfter several months of testing ads on its videos, YouTube is finally unleashing an ad format it hopes will make it some money.

The format will be semi-transparent ads that appear as strips across the bottom 20 percent of a video. Here’s an example.

youtube-ads.bmpThe ads show up after a video plays for 15 seconds. If a user clicks on the ad, the video pauses and launches the commercial. If they ignore the ad, it will disappear in 10 seconds.

YouTube, the video leader, has been closely watched by the industry, because it has struggled to find a format that won’t turn off users. If it’s too aggressive with ads, users can flock to any number of other sites. But it can’t sit back either, because Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube and wants to make money from it. YouTube said the chosen format, announced last night, yielded good click-through results. YouTube will share the revenue with its media partners delivering the video, and the ads will seek to relevant to the video containing them. The Mercury News has more info here.