Online video advertising was introduced last year and can be seen on ESPN.com, Business Week, c|Net, New York Times, etc. The standards for these video ads are still unclear:
- Some are played immediately on launch of the page w/ sound, some are played without sound
- Some must be clicked on to start the ad
- Video length isn't clear, 15, 30, 60, 90, (120 and 180) seconds with 15 seconds as the norm. This matches offline tv/movie advertising.
- Video positioning isn't clear either when ads are displayed within video content, i.e. the ad may be played before or after the video
- All video ads are using Flash as the underlying technology. Nothing new as Flash has been the platform of choice for advertisers who had been doing "rich media" ads before the video technology was added to the Flash platform.
What's got folks salivating about this technology is that online video ads are measurable (television advertising is harder to measure). There can be a clear action that's taken afterwards too (a clickthrough) but more importantly the advertiser can understand how many times the advertisement has been played and can also receive information on browser/os/location and possibly user demo info if that person is logged into the web site.
If you know that a 30 second ad on a good television show can cost $80 – $100k just for those 30 seconds, you can see the potential revenue.
In 2007, online video advertising will start to get normalized/standardized in terms of length of time, position, metrics, etc. One thing is clear about the Internet, advertisers/salespeople are efficient and can get their act together quickly in finding ways to make money.
The IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) I believe is where all this stuff will be shaken out. Sadly, the Web may get annoying again as video ads have the potential to be more annoying than pop-ups. Can't wait for that online video ad pop-up! I'm sure they're already out there.