No Pre-Roll Or YouTube In The Pool

In January of this year, Publicis companies Starcom MediaVest Group and VivaKi announced a joint venture called the Pool. The Pool is a program "that unites the financial resources and thought leadership of its clients and a host of content providers to test and create industry standards for new advertising models." The concept is a very laudable effort to keep pace with new ad formats and media such as video, user-generated content and social media, and establish standards and best practices as they quickly evolve.


The first project that was announced by the Pool was identified as setting standards for online video so that it is as easy to buy and plan against as a 30-second TV spot. This is clearly something of interest. The Pool's leadership -- Curt Hecht, president, VivaKi Nerve Center and Tracey Scheppach, senior vice president, video innovation director, Starcom USA. - discussed its direction in a keynote speech at the recent IAB Digital Video forum. Two potential game-changers (PGCs) were mentioned during the keynote. Here they are:

PGC # 1: There are two video ad format contenders, down from a consideration set of 30 -- neither of which is pre-roll. Most online video dollars are being spent on pre-roll placements, largely because of the ease of formatting offline placements and the fact that they have become the de facto publisher standard. The Pool is setting out to come up with something completely different. With data to support the new unit's effectiveness, this could turn the online video market completely upside down. While the executives gave no details in their presentation, two additional clues are that these two formats should be familiar to those in digital media, and that they are specifically designed to support long-form content. Any guesses out there on what they might be?

PGC # 2: No YouTube participation. This might not have been a big deal before last week, when YouTube launched a section of the site for professionally produced TV episodes and films. This is clearly aimed squarely at Hulu. Hulu got there first, but YouTube has a massive audience. If this new section gains traction with advertisers, as Hulu has done, we can be sure that YouTube will be allocating resources toward the best possible monetization strategy and advertising opportunities. And if it doesn't fit with the Pool's recommendation, there will be no Internet version of the 30-second spot. Hulu-level content and YouTube-level scale, combined with Google's technology, cannot be ignored.

Testing of the Pool is scheduled to be finished in October; it's set to be presented to the industry in February 2010. One thing is guaranteed: much can, and will, change by then in our market. This will be very interesting to watch.

3 comments about "No Pre-Roll Or YouTube In The Pool".
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  1. Michael Mcmahon from ROI Factory / Quick Ops, April 22, 2009 at 12:40 p.m.

    Here we go again. One agency is going to "create industry standards for new advertising models"? Give me a giant break. How about encouraging rather than stifling innovation?

  2. Vincent Vandeputte from You, April 22, 2009 at 1:20 p.m.

    Pre Rolls won't last simply because they suck! Nobody wants to wait for pre rolls, especially when the Online Video is Search 'induced' (versus 'stumble upon'). Millennials want to see whatever it is they want to see NOW and the Pre Roll is not what they asked for!
    There are other business models that are effective (You View TV produces a number of sites, such as that use another succesfull economic model that does work).

  3. Pinaki Saha from Me!Box Media Inc., April 22, 2009 at 6:10 p.m.

    Now I am not the guru or most knowledgable person on AD formats in videos.. but the basic questions that come to me is... if they stay in silo and build something and not bring it to the market before Feb 2010.. how will vendors sign up in anticipation of the format and then co-place this format against all their libraries or pipeline of new content going forward?

    Now may be Viveki has support from Fortune 30 media producers and they have all promised that they will immediately adopt to the new format as soon as it comes out.. but then.. give me a break.. what promise can you see before audience accepts the viability of such a format?

    Next is technology. The way things are moving in the marketplace, like transcoding, encoding, property placement, bit-rate based bandwidth dependency and engagement, and so many other things.. if the format recommender doesn't bring the format right away to the forefront for infrastructure testing and scalability, it will be ludicrous to believe that one fine day all existing AD networks will adopt to this new concept and integrate that with their profitable self-serve engines on the publishing side.

    Anyway... somehow I sniff that this whole SECRET_SAUCE_IN_MAKING publicity may fall flat on its chin like so many others...

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