Video ads have begun popping up in all kinds of places we haven’t seen them before. Goodmail last week talked up a new video-in-email offering. This week the format comes to RSS advertising, courtesy of Pheedo.
The feed management firm and ad network has begun offering video ads that can reach the users Google Reader, Bloglines, NewsGator and other feed readers. Universal Studios, National Geographic and Fox Searchlight are among the early advertisers to use the product, according to the firm. Pheedo represents ad inventory inside feeds owned by New York Times, CBS, Huffington Post, and a great many smaller publishers.
“The challenge as in anything with RSS ad serving is making it work with syndicated traffic,” Pheedo CEO Bill Flitter told me today. “Now, video advertising in RSS is scalable and possible hasn’t been done before.”
Question is, is it a good idea to inject video ads into the feed environment? As with all video executions, that depends on how it’s handled. I do see a potential problem with ad positioning. Most RSS interfaces offer an exceedingly vertical reading experience. Therefore ads must appear either above or below the desired content. Video ads, owing to their 4:3 aspect ratio, are both tall and wide, and would only be appropriate at the bottom of an RSS item. Unfortunately that’s where they’re least likely to be spotted — at least by me. But I’ll look forward to hearing about Pheedo’s experience selling this format.
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