NBC Nixes the 30-Second Spot

NBC Universal decided to bring some Law & Order to the Wild West of Web video advertising in May when it set the standard length for a video clip at 15 seconds or less.

Whether it’s video shorts on NBCU’s iVillage, two or three-minute recaps of primetime shows or Jay Leno clips, starting in July, all will open with one 15-second or under pre-roll spot.

 But media buyers weren’t impressed with the network’s news. “The recent development is really just an official recognition of what has been unofficially instituted for pre-roll ads across publishers,” says David Cohen, executive vice president, U.S. director of digital communications at Universal McCann. The industry is already adopting 15-second pre-rolls, he says.

With weak ratings, NBC isn’t in a position to dictate, suggests Mitch Oscar, director of CaratDigital. “I don’t know that it really means anything,” he says. And media buyers aren’t eager to be fenced in yet. “The jury’s still out on what the optimal length is in the pre-roll space,” adds Cohen.

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