Posted November 11, 2009 8:41 am by with 12 comments

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Video AdsThis is one of those subjects that I can say that my personal experience actually mirrors what the rest of the market is apparently seeing. Oftentimes that’s not the case since I can be somewhat of a contrarian in my views and habits. Apparently much of initial push back against ads attached to video, in particular pre-roll, is starting to give way to some level of acceptance. While I am still not thrilled with it, I do tolerate it much more these days especially when an advertiser actually gets that 10-15 seconds is not nearly as annoying as 30 seconds.

The NY Times reports that news sites are finding more and more success with their online video offerings as ways to increase ad revenue. The impact is even being felt beyond the delivery of news.

Beyond news sites, video is now the fastest-growing segment of the Internet advertising market. Digital video amounted to $477 million in revenue in the first half of 2009, up 38 percent from the same time period in 2008, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

I have wondered over time as to just how much video ‘regular’ people ingest and if there is room for growth. I am certainly not a ‘power consumer’ of video but I am finding myself watching more online offerings. I still avoid the ‘stupid human tricks’ side of the online video experience. In fact, any ads attached to that kind of offering will fall flat with someone like myself but I am just one point of view.

What’s interesting is that the online news experience is starting to look more and more like one medium it is supposedly challenging: television.

News Web sites are starting to look a lot less like newspapers and a lot more like television. and are featuring video much more prominently on their home pages, often prompting visitors to press play before they begin to read. Even The Wall Street Journal has moved its video player front and center with a twice-a-day live newscast on

The shift is likely a natural progression since there seems to be more news than ever. Of course, we have the same number of events that are newsworthy it’s just that the ability to now see more is exponentially increased.

“Every watershed event leaves video more popular than before,” said Charles W. Tillinghast, the president of, a joint venture between NBC Universal and Microsoft.

So as the consumer becomes more accepting and the advertisers actually pay attention to what consumers will tolerate the combination of the two is starting to become a real player in the online advertising space. One drawback will be the cost to produce this content will keep competition down but the big guys actually like that idea.

“It actually works really well,” said Brian Quinn, the vice president and general manager of digital ad sales for The Journal’s digital network. A 15-second pre-roll “followed by two to five minutes of high-quality content is a fair-value exchange,” Mr. Quinn said.

Analysts say they expect the flow of online advertising dollars to video to continue. The research firm eMarketer projects 35 to 45 percent growth for the segment for each of the next five years, topping out at $5.2 billion in 2014. (Even then, it would hardly rival search advertising, which is projected to be a $16 billion business.)

So as this option for marketers grows there will be the usual growing pains. Among those is people starting to confuse an event with actual news and then rushing to produce more noise and junk so an ad can be slapped on it. At that point, it will be up to the consumer to “Just say no!” so the healthy balance between news and commerce can be reached as quickly and painlessly as possible.

How do you feel about ads attached to any video you would like to watch? Is it more acceptable depending upon the venue? Do you make exceptions abot your reactions to ads depending on what you are trying to find?

  • Nothing beats face to face, and the human touch so videos will always come out on top, but attached ads? I don’t like them. It might not take nearly so long at 10-15 seconds, but it’s still long enough for me. I don’t make exceptions and my reaction to ads is pretty much the same, zero interest. Seems the ads are here to stay, or grow if the above news is anything to go by, so I will continue to suffer in silence 🙂
    .-= David Walker´s last blog ..Live Webinar – Thursday 12 November 5pm EST =-.

  • How about Videos Attached to Online Ads?

  • Nice piece, but just who is this working for? For the advertiser or the publisher? I don’t see any mention of performance metrics here? Is it working in terms of engagement, conversion rates, brand favorability, ROI? I’d like to see a study including those metrics before I believe pre-roll or any other video-attached advertising works.
    .-= Nancy AKA @SEMChick´s last blog ..SEMChick: Hello Foursquare RT @google: Google Latitude lets u keep track of location history & get notified when friends r nearby =-.

    • @Nancy – Good points all. Of course the folks selling the space are just thrilled to be taking the cash for the ads. As for how they convert? Well, I guess we’ll have to watch to see if advertisers stick with the medium (at least some proof that they are seeing success) or if there appears to be a ‘revolving door’ of advertisers which might indicate a lot of different brands testing the medium then getting out.

      Would be nice if the content providers would provide a case study or two to show that there is more to this than just “Your ad here”
      .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..A Prayer for Our Armed Forces =-.

  • Excellent post. Very valuable information! Congratulations.

  • Thanks Nice Post

  • It’d be nice if there are some sort of options for users to know if the video contains ads or not from the beginning. Ads playing in the middle is better than the beginning. Just look at TV commercial – we watch movies then they cut it in the middle.

    In addition, if there are some sort of standards in place e.g. how many ads are allowed to play, what kind of content, etc. – then, user experience will be better.

    What do you think?

  • Well I think the ads in the middle is a good idea; however, isn’t this a bad user experience if we are only watching like less than 3 minutes movie? we all know putting it at the end won’t make the ads as visible – people just stop the videos.
    .-= Milton´s last blog ..Empire State Of Mine: 7 Things To Do In New York On New Year’s Eve =-.

  • Why website video? What about plain old website copy? What about blogs?

    Copy is still copy, and blogs are still blogs… and you will always have those people who prefer to learn and absorb by reading. (At iXod Conversion Marketing, we live by the “old” Content is King adage!)

    However, let’s not forget about the vast majority of information-seekers who are just plain lazy. They don’t feel like reading, don’t feel like scrolling. What they really want is instant gratification for clicking on your web page.

  • Rosaria

    I definitely cannot agree more with this and with some of the comments that say people are lazy now and don’t want to read the story. Even though some people enjoy using their imagination when reading something, having it right in front of you and all set up in a nice video is better!

    Look at this entertaining YouTube video that speaks about the power of online video

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  • Wow! “Video ads” is the search hot trends today in google. If you know where to put your investment safe i’m sure it’s a big success. Good article. Let’s promote business by video ads explain all the benefits that you have in your global business investment.