Ad-Supported Mobile Video Deals Underway

Video content provider PureVideo, which runs the GrindTV.com and StupidVideos.com sites, will test an ad-supported model for its mobile content, which had previously been available only to paid subscribers. Nintendo signed on as the first advertiser via its media buying agency, Starcom USA.

Through Starcom, Nintendo placed a seven week buy to promote its Mario Kart DS game for the handheld DS system. A :05 pre-roll ad shows game play with a “sponsored by” message. A :15 bookend containing a full commercial runs after the video.

“It’s clear who the sponsor is, but not with a long video message,” said Tracey Scheppach, director and VP of video innovation at Starcom. “It’s not disrupting to the content.”

PureVideo approached Starcom with the opportunity to test an ad-supported model. The company previously only allowed paid subscribers to download content. For the trial, consumers can choose from both models.

A recent report by Points North Group suggests people are willing to accept ad-supported mobile video content in lieu of a subscription model. Yet a second study conducted by Starcom found resistance to ad-supported mobile video content, though it didn’t look at free, ad-supported content.

“In this example we’re giving them choice and control,” said Scheppach. “They can watch the ads and get free video, or sign up for subscription and get it ad-free.”

The initial placement appears on GrindTV.com’s Videos To Go content, which is formatted for Video iPods, PSP and Microsoft SmartPhone devices. Additional downloads will become available on StupidVideos.com, a user-generated video site also owned by PureVideo.

PureVideo properties reach six million visitors each month in the tween and young adult demographics, the company says. “Based on their demographics and model, we thought Nintendo was the best to pair up with content,” said Scheppach.

Starcom is optimistic about the trial on the mobile platform. “If things are successful,” Scheppach said, “I will definitely be supporting the addition of brands in the mobile space, cellular and otherwise.”

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