Advertising.com Launches Pre-Roll Video Network

Advertising.com has taken the wraps off a new in-stream video ad network it says will supply about 61 million impressions per month to reach-starved media buyers.

Executives at the AOL-owned company said the new network will alleviate the chronic inventory shortages advertisers commonly face when buying direct from Web sites, but they declined to identify any of the 30 or so publishers lassoed into the network so far.

“It’s a combination of really large portal-like sites and some smaller sites with great content,” said Mollie Spilman, Advertising.com’s chief marketing officer. “What we’re finding with advertisers is they really want the content. In most cases we’re buying as much as we can get. There’s so much demand and there’s a lot of publishers adding this kind of content.”

Advertising.com is only the second high-profile in-stream video ad network to emerge. The first, called Instream, was launched by online video enabler Lightningcast last fall and at last check had 50 participating publishers.

As with Lightningcast, Advertising.com handles the ad trafficking and insertion for its new video ad network, no small feat considering the complexities of interfacing with the video playback features of more than two dozen disparate publishers. Spilman said the company was able to draw on the resources of its parent, AOL, to develop the necessary ad operation protocols and management technologies to pull off the network.

“We have a lot of R&D money now, especially since the acquisition,” she said. “I thought it would take longer. We were able to put it out there and learn from the companies out there.”

Pre-roll video spots purchased through Advertising.com can be up to 30 seconds and must be transmitted in Windows or Flash formats. In addition to pre-roll units, the company is offering companion banners in four sizes as a value-add, since some of its publishers package their pre-roll inventory with adjacent in-page units.

Measurement options will include metrics like number-of-impressions and percentage-of-ad-viewed. Very large advertisers will have access to comScore custom reports, complete with reach and frequency data and brand impact analysis.

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