The Last Podcast Opinionated Web 2.0 News and Commentary


21 February 2008 @ 7pm


Hail Google Video Ads (and kill the pre-roll)

So Google has finally opened up the floodgates to video ad heaven. Within a few days, you are bound to see more videos with text ads popping up at the bottom of the page or “InVideo” ads that also appear at the bottom of the video – courtesy of Google’s AdSense for Video (which is, in good Google style, in beta).

Google, of course, is a bit late to the party, as other video advertising players are already doing similar overlays. Being the biggest ad company in the net, though, their efforts are going be far more noticeable than those of the smaller players.

As TechCrunch pointed out in their post on this, at least Google has the good sense to make the ads a lot less intruding than pre-rolls (nobody watches post-rolls anyway).

The problem I see with this ad format is, however, that users who are engaged in a video aren’t exactly very likely to click on a text ad. If anything, even that little block of text is going to be an annoyance when you are watching a video. After all, watching video is a very passive ‘activity.’ Having to click on the ad to make it go away is not going to make your brand stand out in a good way.

But then, advertising is always an annoyance. I have always had a hard time believing people who say they don’t mind ads that fit into the context – and I say that, even though there are some ads on my own site. However, advertising has become a necessary evil, because it remains the only way to really monetize most content.