Reuters Offers Mobile Video, Pre-Roll Ads

Reuters introduced a video extension to its mobile presence, a first for a mobile news site in the U.S.

Video clips will encompass both business and headline news, and range in length from approximately :30 to several minutes. A total of 20 videos will be available on the site at any given time, and the mobile video will be “updated around the clock,” according to Stephen Smyth, general manager of Reuters Media.

The service is optimized for a small number of smart phones, including the Nokia E62, Palm 700w, and Blackberry Pearl. Mobile Web subscribers with unsupported phones will not see the video option when visiting Reuters’ mobile site.

Reuters will sell pre-roll ads against the clips, mainly in the form of :15 spots. Though the service is now live, ads won’t begin running until next month.

Current mobile advertisers include GE, which is sponsoring articles grouped into an eco-business category. The ad buy is part of a holistic program that spans the publisher’s regular Web site as well.

“We just view video as one more ad product that we can bundle into a deal,” said Smyth. “Reuters is really embracing new technologies that allow advertisers and marketers to reach our audience in innovative ways.”

Reuters’ two-pronged distribution strategy includes both direct promotion of its mobile content and deals with carriers. It has an on-deck “Reuters” tab with three news services: Verizon, Sprint and Nextel.

According to Smyth, the Reuters mobile site records page views in the “single digit millions” per month. Year-over-year site traffic was up 300 percent as of November.

Reuters already offers mobile video in Europe and Asia.

This story has been corrected to state that page views on the Reuters mobile site are in the low millions. An earlier version had indicated the figure applied to unique users.

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