Google Monetizing YouTube
In Google's important and critical strategy to monetize YouTube they have introduced Click-to-Buy links. If you hear a song you like while watching the music video - then down in the links where you can share, etc you will see a new selection where you can buy the song. Same with games and I am sure, coming soon, products from packaged goods companies. Maybe you will be able to buy the blendtec blender or the thing they are blending directly from the YouTube page?
When Google introduced videos into their universal search results, they added an appealing, eye-catching element to organic results. Not so good for the paid search advertisers who definitely don't want a potential consumers eyes straying to the video thumbnail. Unless...Google can help you monetize the click-through on the video thumbnail as well. They are trying.
Some data suggests that when a video appears in the first page (I suspect above the fold) then less people click on paid search compared to when those thumbnails are not present. The chart above is the Click Performance Index from Comscore for January 2008 which shows just that, when video thumbnails appear in 'organic' search results then searchers click less on paid listings. Google needs to get youtube monetized asap.
Of course, this is mostly speculation on my part. But it makes sense and if you own a website, make sure you have a YouTube strategy.