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Online Video Advertising Methods and Formats - An Overview

Aug 28, 2008
With the incredible rapid growth that online video sharing and video search sites are realizing, more and more advertisers are pumping money into video advertising. According to the latest research, online video advertising revenues in the US are expected to reach $7.1 billion by 2012 which is a 72 percent compound annual growth rate for the next five years. In 2008, the projections are just shy of $1billion.

Since video sites have been realizing more and more traffic growth, they have had a unique opportunity to innovate and test various different online video ad formats. And the advertisers as well are more than happy to experiment as they are looking to these leaders to develop the most effective online video advertising formats. Traditionally, pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll ad formats (aka in-stream ads) have been favored by advertisers due to the availability of inventory and prominence of the advertisement itself.

Pre-Roll Ads - In this format of advertising, the advertisement clip is inserted before the actual video and while playing the video, the advertisement clip is played first and the viewer is compelled to watch the advertisement before the start of the real video file.

Post-roll Format - In post-roll, just like the other in-stream ad formats, a short clip is played and streamed within the player at the end of the video stream itself. This is not as desired by advertisers as they know that many users never watch a video all the way until the end.

Mid-Roll Format - With mid-rolls, a short clip is streamed in the middle (sometimes every X minutes) of video content that is playing. This tends to be less annoying to users as they are acustomed to this format in television advertising.

As stated earlier, due to the demand, many of these video websites have begun to test and offer new, innovative ad solution for video. One of these experimental format is the In-Player ad: With in-player ads the player skin itself can be used to place relevant images or text content for the advertiser so that the ad is displayed for the entire time that the video is played.

One of the most promising video advertisement formats is contextual advertising which attempts to match advertisements with the most relevant content and visa-versa. This ad itself can take of various different forms, in-video banners, lower-thirds, and contextual text overlay advertisements. The nice thing about this particular method is that it does not disturb the viewing of the video and it responds only when the viewer clicks on it.

One of the most popular version of contextual video advertising is that of what is known as the "overlay ad." In this format, relevant textual ads are scrolled or displayed across a small portion of the video screen (usually the bottom). Users in particular prefer this format as it is relatively unobtrusive.

I have given you a brief overview of the most common formats of video ads that are being tested and utilized at the moment. That being said, with growth being what it is, and video discovery as new as it is, we will certainly see many different companies innovating in regards to developing new and exciting formats for online video advertising.
About the Author
This post was written by Mark Robertson, an expert in video search optimization, video marketing. For news, information, and techniques for online video advertising, visit ReelSEO.
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