AdSense Expands Video Testing

Earlier today Google announced it would expand testing for video advertising, by working with two new music partners.

From the Inside AdSense blog:

Over the next few weeks we’ll be testing AdSense video distribution and sponsorship with a small group of publishers.

Google previously tested video ads on the AdSense network working with MTV Networks.

This time, we’ll be working with a larger set of content providers, grouping together video content from providers such as Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment together with quality ads and offering them as playlists which publishers can select from and display on their AdSense sites.

Reuters is reporting the new test will be based on a CPM model of cost per thousand impressions as opposed to the pay-per-click model typical for contextual links.

More from Reuters:

A Web site owner can select a video channel and embed it on a section of the site dedicated to running Google AdSense ads. Visitors then can click to watch ad-supported videos within the video channel on sites running the ads.

The Google advertising system splits the resulting revenue three ways to the video content owner, the Web site publisher and Google.

I like the idea of using the CPM model over pay per click. The prior test indicated a user would need to click to play the video and then further click to the advertiser site before publishers would get paid, which might not have worked well for publishers. I assume with the new model visitors will still need to play the video before an impression is recorded, but that seems reasonable.

As with my earlier post on the video ads I’ll reserve judgment until video makes its way to the majority of publishers, but for anyone who has a video related site the video ads look like a good fit. Google might not even need the publisher network to make this work for them given their ownership of YouTube and their deal to provide search and advertising to MySpace.

The Gray Line Between Content and Advertising

Aaron Wall has a short, but interesting post on how with the video ads Google is further blurring the line between ads and content. This also makes sense for Google since both Yahoo and MSN far surpass Google in content delivery. Aaron further mentions and links to articles on how Google might take their ads offline on billboards and tv and also in video games.

The melding of advertisement and content should come as no surprise and is something that has been happening for quite some time already. Think product placements in tv shows and movies or advertisers creating content around their brand like the Burger King mascot starring in a video game. Games like Second Life have spawned virtual businesses inside the game itself.

Merging content and advertising isn’t going anywhere. As items like Tivo make it easier for us to ignore commercials and interruption marketing falling in the wake of permission marketing we should expect the line to get even fuzzier.

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