Tuesday, January 23, 2007
  • Ross Fadner, January 23, 2007, 11:18 AM
  • Google Expands Video Testing To Include Record Labels Google continues to test its new video advertising network, now posting ads alongside video content from music partners Sony BMG and Warner Music Group across its AdSense publisher network.

    The four-week test is to see how the video ads play with consumers who watch Google Video on its third-party publisher network. Ad revenues from those video views would be split between the record label, Google and the publisher. The test with Warner and BMG follows tests conducted earlier for music videos from Viacom's MTV Networks. During the tests, advertisers have been billed on a CPM (cost-per-thousand) basis.

    AdSense publishers have to participate in the Google Video program to be included. Partners will soon be given the option of posting video from content providers like MTV and the record labels instead of Google AdWords. With Warner Music, they select a "channel" to display, such as "rock music," and a video will run in the AdWords section of their site. It's really content placed in a section devoted to advertising displaying both advertising and content. Kind of confusing, and it remains to be seen if consumers tolerate random videos playing in the corner of a site where they didn't go to watch video. Read the whole story...
  • Report: Online Video Pie Falls Short Of Critical Mass In yet more groundbreaking research, JupiterResearch finds, unsurprisingly, that consumers prefer video content that's both free and without ads to services supported by ad or a la carte models. More significantly, the Jupiter report paints a limited picture of the growing-and slowly settling-online video market.

    Jupiter's results say 37 percent of consumers with high-speed Web access watch online video, while roughly half look for full-length programs, live broadcasts and additional media footage rather than short clips. Just 21 percent of respondents said they prefer ads to paid content; the article doesn't say how many prefer paid content to ads.

    It sounds suspiciously like the Jupiter survey is long on adult respondents and short on Gen Y and younger generations--though that could be wrong, as the article doesn't discuss the survey methodology. However, if these results hold water, then the online video phenomenon should be classified as over-hyped. The industry needs more than 37 percent of the Web population to be consuming online video--and YouTube needs more than half of those folks to be interested in watching short clips in order to attract advertisers.

    The results contrast with an AP/AOL study from last September, which found that 54 percent of Internet users watch long or short-form online video and an astonishing 71 percent preferred ad-supported video to video they have to pay for. Read the whole story...
  • SpiralFrog Loses Key Executive, Board Members Remember SpiralFrog? The much-ballyhooed online music provider was supposed to be the first free, ad-supported music service to collaborate with the major record labels. The site was also supposed to launch last year, but it never did.

    CNET reports infighting among SpiralFrog's board led to the company's failure to launch. Late last year, Robin Kent, the former chief of Universal McCann Worldwide, was ousted as the company's CEO. At least five members of its executive team and three board members followed. The company's marketing, strategy and operating officers--those said to have the closest ties to the music industry--were among those who left the fledgling company.

    Just about everyone declined to comment, but company spokespeople insisted that the show will go on, and SpiralFrog will launch sometime in the next month (heard that before). SpiralFrog isn't the first music company to try the ad-supported model, but it's the first to land a huge partner in Universal Music Group. Other big deals were supposed to follow, but didn't.

    Should SpiralFrog fail, will the music labels find a way to collaborate on a free, ad-supported service of their own, or will another independent step forward? Read the whole story...
  • Small Biz Plays Catch-Up With Yahoo's Panama Project Panama is out now, and while many advertisers are excited by a more efficient way to buy search advertising with Web giant Yahoo, smaller advertisers are already reporting trouble making the leap from the old to the new system.

    Indeed, Yahoo had repeatedly delayed Panama's launch due to the mammoth task of porting hundreds of thousands of advertisers over to the new system. National advertisers are more familiar with it, as Yahoo debriefed major ad and search-marketing agencies on the new system long ago.

    Many are excited about the prospect of a system that in practice works more like Google AdWords, and claim they'll likely spend more with Yahoo as a result. Tonight, when Yahoo announces its fourth-quarter earnings, the company is expected to issue an update on the Panama situation; reporters and analysts will no doubt have several questions. Read the whole story...
  • Presidential Hopefuls Waste No Time With Web Strategy Next year's presidential race is already being called the first "YouTube election." The proliferation of online video clips--particularly as email forwards--proved the downfall of several candidates for congressional positions during the 2006 elections. For the 2008 presidential race, candidates have learned that viral technology is both a threat and an opportunity if leveraged properly. It's also an inexpensive medium for addressing the public.

    Tonight, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), who announced her candidacy for president just a few days ago, is set to participate in three live online chats, soliciting questions she'll respond to on her Web site. According to Peter Dao, her campaign Internet strategist, social and viral media will be vital to her campaign, due to its sudden "ubiquity."

    Former Sen.John Edwards, meanwhile, has posted 2.5-minute clips outlining the themes of his campaign to YouTube and Rocketboom.com; more than 100,000 clips have already been viewed, his Web strategist says. Arizona Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is being followed around by a videographer, who will post to McCain's site, while Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has sent email blasts to his supporters describing why he's running for president. Read the whole story...