The New York Times has launched a long form video advertisement section on its NYTimes.com site, and has signed shipping company FedEx as its first customer.
In response to advertisers looking for more options beyond :15 and :30 pre-roll ads, the online news site has created the Video Lounge as a section for viewers to watch sponsored videos of longer length. Initially linking from the Video News section of NYTimes.com, the Lounge features five videos about FedEx employees and the work they do. The videos link to the shipping firm's FedEx Stories site.
"We started hearing from customers almost a year ago that they were looking for places within the NYTimes environment to showcase their own vides," said Todd Haskell, vice president for digital sales and operations for the New York Times. "People loved the unique take that we have on the enterprise reporting or breaking news and they loved the advertising that we offered adjacent to our own videos, but they were looking for ways to offer their own longer form video."
The Times has delineated the Fed Ex videos from its video news coverage by listing them as advertisements at the bottom of the videos page. The company also eventually intends to link the advertorial videos from other sections of its Web site, said Nithya Sowrirajan, product marketing manager for the New York Times.
"Promotion for the video lounge doesn't solely live on the video page. And we did not want to compromise the users' experience adjacent to our editorial videos. But at the same time we wanted to give advertisers their own creative," she said.
Although Sowrirajan and Haskell said they've heard repeatedly about a decline in pre-roll video advertising, they are not intending to replace pre-roll with long form video advertising supplements just yet.
"We're waiting to see how the market shakes out, and we're going to be flexible to meet the market demands, which is why we've offered a number of different options, whether it's :15 pre-roll to :30 pre-roll to long form video like this," said Haskell. "The most important thing is we're doing this because we were asked by advertisers. I'd like to see it as something that multiple advertisers can take advantage of, as someplace for readers to go to learn new things about different products and services that are coming up."
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