AOL Unveils Skippable, Other Video Ad Formats: Dubs Them 'Premium'

Appealing to brands’ better streaming senses, AOL is rolling out five new linear premium video ad formats.

The new formats are available to run across AOL On, which now houses north of a million videos from AOL’s owned-and-operated properties, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and

With each new format, the big innovation is interactivity, according to David Miller, VP of advertising product management at AOL. “We’ve made pre-roll truly interactive, enabling advertisers to provide a more engaging experience for end users,” Miller said on Thursday.

The units will also help agencies and clients collect more granular data on consumer interests and preferences, Miller promised. “We believe that this unique combination of creative and data intelligence, delivered at scale, will become table stakes for our partners and the industry at large,” he adds.



Havas has signed on as one of the first agencies to test the new formats.

One “Linear Expandable” format delivers an interactive microsite experience for linear video placements.

While a branded video is playing, another “Linear Modules” unit presents a set of interactive icons to viewers, which support various modular based features. A “Linear Sequence” unit guarantees a lean-forward engaging ad experience by displaying an interactive end-frame after an advertisers’ video has completed.

A “Branded Slate” unit offers advertisers an animated 7-second branding opportunity before transitioning to a video content. Finally, a “Branded Skip” format presents users with the option to continue watching or skipping an advertiser’s video. Advertisers are then provided a branded opportunity to deliver their message, while soliciting feedback from consumers.

Stateside, marketers are expected to spend $7.77 billion on digital video ads, this year -- up 30% compared with 2014 -- per eMarketer.

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