YouTube, the voice of the new video generation, has quietly rolled out a beta test of in-video ads that should shake up media plans throughout the industry. After all, we have been waiting for this for some time now, and by default, YouTube opening up even a fraction of their inventory to advertising creates the single largest aource of video ads on the web.
The ads will run both on consumer generated videos as well as the professionally produced content that exists on YouTube (at least the content from providers that are not suing ‘GooTube’ at the moment). The new units are technically semi-transparent overlays, which will appear shortly after the video content begins, and geared towards a call to action so that a viewer has to click on it to see the full video ad. I haven’t been a super fan of this model up until now (you didn’t think YouTube was first-to-market on this, did you? – Video Egg and others have been using this format for a while now). It requires a click to see the “real” video ad. But once consumers do get to the videos *thankfully* the units will offer fairly deep reporting on engagement (in this instance, defined as time spent with the ads).
If YouTube’s new ad model is as highly anticipated as I think it is, we will most likely see many media plans including this option in the not-too-distant future, if for no other reason to simply tap into the power that is YouTube. Limited targeting options are available, but I think this will be the biggest area of improvement as YouTube’s model matures with actual advertisers, who are (rightfully) looking for more targeting these days than ever before.
Stay tuned for more on this topic…