YouTube ads

From the New York Times:

[Google] said late Tuesday that after months of testing various video advertising models, it was ready to introduce a new type of video ad, which it said was unobtrusive and kept users in control of what they saw.

The ads, which appear 15 seconds after a user begins watching a video clip, take the form of an overlay on the bottom fifth of the screen, not unlike the tickers that display headlines during television news programs.

It was only a matter of time, and it looks like Google picked the least objectionable vehicle for delivering ads.

As is typical of Google, the pricing model is straightforward. Advertisers will be charged $20 per 1,000 views.

For now, Google will place the ads only on video clips of its content partners — the more than 1,000 small and large media companies that have licensed their videos to YouTube. By doing so, YouTube will avoid the potential liability of having ads appear on copyrighted clips it is not authorized to display. And it will also prevent ads from playing on clips generated by users whose message may not be to the liking of advertisers.

The breakthrough will come when anyone with an AdSense account can post to YouTube and share in the revenues. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a user agreement that indemnifies Google if a content supplier violates a copyright.

It’s safe to assume that the lower-fifth overlay will become the de facto for web video ads, and will present some challenges to web video producers. Over the years we’ve gotten used to reserving the lower right portion of the screen in broadcast video for bugs. Now we have to cede the whole lower fifth for web video ads. That’s a pretty significant chunk of real estate that’s typically used for IDs and additional info. It will be interesting to see how text on screen is presented going forward.

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