Autobytel Revs Up CarTV

Autobytel has integrated its Flash-based CarTV video player throughout its car-buying Web sites, which the company touts as a way to give marketers video advertising opportunities to reach in-market car buyers.

Several auto manufacturers have already signed on to show :30 video ads — mostly repurposed TV ads at this point — before, during, or after the CarTV video clips. The company expects to add :15 ads as an option in coming weeks.

Ads are sold by segment, such as luxury or sports car segments. Rates for ads on “automatic on” videos, which start playing without user interaction, typically run between $50 and $70 CPM, said Michael Rosenberg, Autobytel’s SVP of marketing and media services. User-initiated video ads cost considerably more, between $175 and $225 CPM, he said.

“We’re at the very bottom end of the purchase funnel, so manufacturers are willing to pay a premium CPM, especially for the users who are self-selecting,” Rosenberg said.

CarTV’s automotive content includes streaming video test drives and reviews, vehicle crash test footage, auto show coverage, step-by-step car care tips, and a weekly auto news report. The videos are available at the site, and are also linked from relevant content pages on Autobytel sites, so a visitor researching a specific car model will be presented with video of that model, when available.

“The goal is to provide rich media content when and where consumers can use it most,” Rosenberg said. Future plans for the videos include implementations like side-by-side video comparisons of similar models.

CarTV’s video player and content are available at,,,, and the company’s video channel,

The new CarTV video player uses progressive download technology to download the video clips to the user’s hard drive, where they can be viewed locally, improving image quality over traditional streaming video. CarTV’s Video Campaign Manager allows the company to serve ads at any point in the clip, as well as handle tracking functions.

Related reading