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YouTube launched a series of new analytics features today, known as Insight. The product gives video producers more detailed information about where and when their videos were viewed. For now this drills down as far as state and country (using IP address) and day of the week. Future versions could get more granular with ZIP code level reporting and day parting.

The reasons behind this are clearly to drive more commercial appeal in YouTube and its monetization efforts, which so far include contextual ad overlays to videos. With more knowledge of who is watching your videos and when, advertising becomes more attractive and measurable. But for those that aren’t purchasing ad overlays, or for those not participating in AdSense for video, this can still be valuable.

Local merchant video, for example, isn’t content that includes advertising; it is the advertising. As we’ve argued, this content has value for users in providing a richer local search experience, and it has clear appeal for advertisers interested in local branding. Though a majority of this local video advertising has happened within IYPs and local search sites (for good reason), there is also the opportunity to utilize YouTube as an auxiliary (and free) distribution tool.

The universal search trend enhances this opportunity, as we’ve examined. Insight now makes this even more attractive for SMBs to experiment with video advertising and track its performance and local relevance. But like it is with search, self provisioning will be a sizable impediment to wide-scale SMB adoption of YouTube and Insight. Third-party local SEM and SEO players will therefore be the ones to utilize these tools the most, on behalf of their clients.

Few of these firms, including eLocalListing, are tapping into universal search opportunities by offering video to their SMB clients, but more will follow. IYPs — currently offering video that is distributed only within their domains — should also come around to utilize YouTube as a means to get their SMB advertisers’ videos in Google search results. Now that performance can be measured and reported back to local advertisers, the benefits come closer into focus.

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