Pre-roll video advertising can be annoying, but this offering has advantages over other approaches.
So it's happened. YouTube is adding its version of the pre-roll ad to its offerings; it's called TrueView Video Ads or "in-stream" placements. YouTube is also putting this in the pay-per-view category of advertising. Now this ad format is not new to YouTube since certain channel "partners" like the Onion and other premium content providers started inserting pre-rolls sold via YouTube a while ago. But this is a much broader rollout of video ads within YouTube.
Now clearly this marks a reversal of the statements (or rumors, I guess) we heard that YouTube would not insert pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ads into its videos. And YouTube is more pleasurable than other video sites that force viewers to sit through a :15 ad (or worse, a :30 ad) before watching video content.
To YouTube's credit, it is being as polite as possible by allowing consumers to skip an ad after 5 seconds and limiting them to one ad every 7 minutes. If ads show up in embedded videos on people's sites and blogs, I believe it will be a boon for services that do not require pre-rolls and hosted solutions like Brightcove.
The thing I really love about these ads - in the style of Google AdWords - is that they include a serious performance element. An advertiser pays only if:
So if someone skips the ad after a few seconds, you as an advertiser pay nothing.
The service is managed through your AdWords account and, according to the literature I have, you will need Google's assistance in setting up a TrueView campaign because it is still in the pilot phase. It is auction-based and I am not 100 percent up on all the filters and video targeting options yet. But I'll follow up with a column when I get my head around those details. (Of course, if you have them, please comment.)
All in all, I am pretty excited about this because it should add a whole new creative canvas over the current video offerings available online. The really interesting part is that there is no limit to a video's length. So if you insert something interesting like those original magical video episodes from BMW films starring Clive Owen (my all-time favorite Internet video campaign), you could potentially get several minutes of a consumer's time.
So here are some specifics around the offerings:
Below is an image of the new ads with the "skip" option. (To see a quick video demo of the ad, click here.)
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