In an ongoing shift of models that seems to be a moving target (a healthy indication of progress), MSN announced a shift of pre-roll delivery based on time spent viewing content, versus running pre-rolls with each piece of video content. The press release states that “New version makes it easier to find, discover and share videos with fewer interruptions.”
Rob Bennett, general manager, entertainment, video and sports for MSN. describes the shift as “increasing the discoverability of our deep catalog…” – in other words, publishers are finally realizing that pre-rolls are not the ideal format that the industry once thought and are merely a surrogate for what is to come. Pre-rolls are innately non-engaging, not entirely accountable and interuptive, not to mention fairly expensive – it’s a traditional media experience, wrapped in a browser, shrouded in untapped potential.
NBC also made a major change earlier this year by shifting the format of video ads for all short form content to :15 or less, based on feedback from consumers and the industry.
Just weeks ago YouTube opened up the largest inventory of video advertising on the web with an odd choice of format, the overlay, to mixed reviews from the industry. At least they decided to forgo the pre-roll.
Rumor has it that Yahoo is beta testing video ads units that are clickable into a deeper experience. I’m really eager to see a demo! Now that’s what I’m talking about – becoming part of and improving the experience, not marketing on top of or around it.
Ahhh – evolution.