YouTube Launches InVideo Ad Platform
The YouTube InVideo Ads are semi-transparent overlays that appear in the bottom 20% of the video player. The rich media animations show up 15 seconds after the chosen content begins, with the overlay lasting up to 10 seconds. The overlays also have interactive functionality, allowing users to click through to an advertiser's linked URL--or to launch a new player within the original window that will run a video ad and bring the user back to the content at any time).
Advertisers have the option to target users by age, sex, geography, daypart, and video genre. YouTube is selling the InVideo Ads on an impression basis, with $20/cpm as the baseline, but YouTube also provides click-through data to ad partners. The overlay, once it appears, counts as an impression.
If users choose to engage further by watching the actual video ad, YouTube will provide advertisers with info in percentage quartiles on how much of the video is viewed. Based on tests, YouTube estimates that some 75% of the users who elect to watch the player-in-player ad will view the new video in its entirety.
With YouTube one of the most trafficked online video communities in the U.S., speculation has continued to grow as to how Google would monetize its $1.65 billion investment. According to Shashi Seth, YouTube's group product manager, the advertising team has been experimenting with a number of models, testing and gathering both marketer and user feedback.
"For the past three months, we've run millions of impressions to see how users react to the different models, and we've taken away the models that don't work," said Seth. "For example, we know that users don't want to be interrupted at the start of a video, which is why the overlay doesn't start until 15 seconds in."
Seth added that about 20 advertisers are currently running InVideo Ads, including New Line Cinema and BMW, and the model will be available to a wider base of brands in the weeks and months ahead. As to whether YouTube will become overwhelmed with InVideo Ads and overlays, Seth added: "I certainly cannot see that happening. Advertisers can reach a large number of impressions even if we are a little conservative in terms of how much content we monetize. And our users are not shy about telling us what they like and what they don't--so it behooves us to be careful."