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Advertisers Look to New Formats for Online Video Growth

  • Ad Age, Monday, June 29, 2009 12:26 PM
It's an understatement to say that online video ads have thus far been disappointing for advertisers. They still mostly look and feel like TV -- in many cases they are repurposed TV ads -- but because they are online, they are much more annoying, says Ad Age's Michael Learmonth. Meanwhile, because the video market is splintered, and many sites lack the kind of content advertisers are comfortable with, advertisers have been reticent to spend money on new creative for online video.

Nevertheless, the ad recession has led to a push to try and find new formats for online video. "As prime-time audiences decrease, it makes sense to go where the audiences are going," Chris Allen, VP video innovation at Starcom USA tells Ad Age. This has led to "a flurry of innovation" away from static pre-rolls and impression-based pricing towards new models that take advantage of the Web. "The Pool", a yearlong test of different video formats from Publicis Groupe's VivaKi unit, is one example.

"We're in this funky transition period in the industry; the lion's share of what advertisers are doing is repurposing TV creative for video, but some are dipping their toe into new creative and testing new formats," said Hulu Senior VP Jean-Paul Colaco.

According to comScore, nearly 80% of the U.S. online audience watches video, but the time spent is just 1% of the $70 billion TV market. Meanwhile, the total estimated size of the online video market in 2009 is $700 million, or 1 percent of $70 billion, which means that online video actually might be getting what it deserves

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