'Protail' Video Advertising Booms Online

Short-form professionally produced video clips--content that makes up large portions of sites such as YouTube and Metacafe--is poised to grow 600% to $75 million in advertising revenue this year. According to the Stamford, Conn.-based media research company Gartner Inc., so-called "protail video" is one of the fastest-growing segments of the online video marketplace.

Protail video--defined as a segment between long-form professionally produced content, such as TV shows and user-generated video--is high-quality content that Gartner says provides advertisers with "a safe, targeted inventory"--an area to place ads. Protail video offer advertisers targeted non-copyrighted video inventory.

In four years, Gartner says this video segment is expected to experience even greater growth, reaching $1.5 billion in advertising revenues in 2012.

Advertisers have been flummoxed about how to tap into the large user-generated space, especially on digital areas such as YouTube, since videos vary widely in quality and content.



But shorter-form, more professionally produced content is available at Internet sites such as Metacafe, a major area for independent video and filmmakers and more accessible for Internet video advertisers.

Gartner noted, for example, that "Dr. Horrible," a short-form TV series created by writers during the Writers Guild strike of late 2007-early 2008, grabbed 1.1 million streams. Gartner says digital video studios can create four-minute "protail" TV episodes for between $2,000 and $5,000.

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