Is Pre-Roll History?

The days of the 30-second pre-roll may be numbered. In May, NBC Universal said it would only accept pre-rolls of 15 seconds or less for delivery. Now, the peacock network has joined with a group of about 40 top Web publishers and agencies undertaking a research project to test alternative video ad formats.

Dubbed InStream 2.0, the effort also includes Turner Broadcasting, Fox Interactive Media, OMD (Los Angeles branch), Special Ops Media and One to One Marketing. The study will kick off this month by analyzing audience response to video ads of varying lengths and formats, including expandable ads, overlays and others, in at least 15 different branding campaigns online.

“We’re interested in determining the optimal interaction for pre-rolls with the minimum intrusion,” says John Vincent, CEO of rich media firm EyeWonder, which is leading the initiative.

Vincent says creative agencies will have the chance to push the limits of what’s possible with in-stream and in-page video ads. Overall, the research will encompass at 150 million impressions and about 10 million unique visitors during the initial two-month test period. The InStream 2.0 findings will be released quarterly as the project progresses. “Hopefully, as we move forward, this will help everyone figure out what the most effective [ad] executions are,” says Vincent.

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