Now YouTube is watching you

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TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: You probably already know this, but your computer's watching you. Marketers love the Web. It lets them track your every click and meet you there. Today one online pioneer rolled out a way to make following you even easier. Marketplace's Lisa Napoli has more on the latest from YouTube.


LISA NAPOLI: Say you wanna be a rock star. In this digital age, you've probably got a video clip up in a bunch of places, including YouTube. Now, thanks to a new, free measurement service YouTube introduced today, you'll be able to find out something about who's watching your video, when they watch it and where they live.

MIKE SHIELDS: You can look at individual states where your videos are doing well, whether they can actually, theoretically figure out where they should tour, where they shouldn't bother.

That's Mike Shields of Media Week. He says it's not just garage bands who'll want to use what YouTube's calling "Insight." Programmers could gauge reaction to new shows and movies. Marketers could figure out where to sell their products.

SHIELDS: There's a lot of potential implications for advertisers, to test different creatives. They can actually figure out which creative to put on television at what point.

A kind of virtual focus group with 72 million of your closest friends.

Joe Turow of the Annenberg School of Communications says YouTube's Insight has a potentially larger benefit: It could provide the answer to a burning question:

JOE TUROW: People have been trying to puzzle out how user-generated content, how they can make the kind of money that those companies feel they deserve to make.

That's what Google has been asking itself since it laid out $1.6 billion in stock to buy YouTube 18 months ago. Other user-generated media sites have been trying to figure out how to make money, too.

TUROW: The amount of money that comes through those sites is not nearly like the amount of money that comes through search engines.

Maybe with Insight, now they'll have found a way to change the equation.

In Los Angeles, I'm Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.

About the author

In more then twenty years in journalism, Lisa Napoli has managed to work for almost every major

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