Update on 8/10/09: The name of this product has changed from Sponsored Videos to Promoted Videos.

With 13 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and millions of viewers watching hundreds of millions of videos every day, the popularity of YouTube can be a mixed blessing for users. While it's easier to get your 15 minutes of fame (or more, depending on who you are), it can be difficult for people to find your video in the first place, even if it's exactly what they're looking for.

But what if you could promote your video on YouTube and make it easier for people to find it?

Today, we are excited to announce a way to do just that. YouTube Sponsored Videos is our new advertising program that enables all video creators -- from the everyday user to a Fortune 500 advertiser -- to reach people who are interested in their content, products, or services, with relevant videos. Anyone can use Sponsored Videos to make sure their videos find a larger audience, whether you're a start-up band trying to break out with a new single, a film studio seeking to promote an exciting movie trailer, or even a first-time uploader trying to quickly build a following on the site.

So how does Sponsored Videos work? Easy-to-use automated tools allow content owners to decide where they'd like their videos to appear, place bids in an automated online auction, and set daily spending budgets. Then, when people search for videos, YouTube will display relevant videos alongside the search results. These videos are clearly labeled as "sponsored videos" and are priced on a cost-per-click basis. (You can learn more about these tools in the video below.)

We are constantly working to develop the right advertising format for the right content and experience on YouTube. That's why our primary focus with Sponsored Videos is to build a platform consistent with the site's search and discovery experience. Just as AdWords provides people with relevant, non-obtrusive advertising, we hope that Sponsored Videos will provide useful, engaging content, accessible to advertisers of all kinds.

We think this is a great first step for offering users, partners, and advertisers search marketing solutions on YouTube. Like Google, our philosophy at YouTube is continuous innovation, so we will work to improve Sponsored Videos by listening to your feedback and observing the auction as it takes time to fully develop. We hope that by leveraging much of the technology and insight of the AdWords team, we can make this transition as easy as possible.

We do not believe there is one advertising solution for YouTube, but lots of valuable ways for advertisers to engage with our audience. The scale of YouTube Sponsored Videos -- with the branding power of InVideo ads, the engagement of our contests, the analytics of YouTube Insight, etc. -- should create exciting opportunities for users, partners, and advertisers.

YouTube Sponsored Videos is currently only available in the United States, but we're working to bring it to other countries soon. If you're interested in running your own Sponsored Videos campaign, please visit ads.youtube.com.