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Video ads that can outrun a mouse. YouTube introduces a major milestone for delivering online news revenues 8/22/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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Historically, the length of video ads has been limited to how long we were willing to sit there and do nothing before taking evasive action. Before remote control, avoiding an ad was difficult and annoying — we had to get-up from our comfy chairs to change the channel. So, we were willing to tolerate commercials that were as long as 2 minutes. For many years after the remote was invented, when we only received a few TV channels, avoiding an ad required the less annoying act of leaning forward to grab the remote from our coffee tables. So, ad lengths dropped to 30 seconds. Later, when cable gave us a choice of dozens of channels, the remote was always by our side, and we began to see 15 second or shorter ads and promos.

But now that we watch videos on our computers with one finger always poised on the trigger of the mouse, is there any ad length from which we won’t click away? Only if the length is “zero,” which is why a simple idea from YouTube makes so much sense. As described by c|net, the mostly transparent ads appear at the bottom of a video, disappear after 10 seconds, and can be clicked-on to learn more. It is an ad that fits perfectly into the multi-tasking habits of today’s Internet addicts. Here’s a sample below, with the ad popping-up 15 seconds in.

All this is not to say that this will be the only online video ad model that will work, that these ads will be priced similarly to TV ads, or that this fits with YouTube’s own business model. But it’s now clear that Old Media can no longer sit in their comfy chairs believing that their chances of facing some well-funded online news competition are remote.

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