Sunday, July 22, 2007

Two Big Changes in the World of Video Advertising

So this was a big weekend for online advertising. On Friday Revver announced the start of their pre-roll CPM ad delivery program, and over the weekend Google opened its CPA network to more users including the T-Cast Network.

For those of you who don't know what all the acronyms are all about, don't worry we were all there at some point. CPM is "cost per 1000 impressions" meaning it pays the publisher every time its seen 100 times. CPA is "Cost Per Action" meaning it pays the publisher when the viewer clicks the ad, goes to a site and completes some action. CPA pays better but is harder to convert, while CPM pays poorly but consistently.

Sites like AtomFilms have been using pre-roll ads for years, but with viewer attention spans so soft, Revver went with the video first approach. Pre-roll CPM changes all that.

Revver's pre-roll CPM program is a divergence from its traditional business model and they are going to great lengths to insist that the ads will remain non-obtrusive. The plus side is producers will now be paid every time their video is played (albeit a small amount), this is good news because well over 50% of the time viewers don't watch the video to the end and therefore never see the ad. Hopefully this new product will prop up producer's falling earnings on the network.

Google has been pilot projecting their referral or CPA ad network for years with products like Adsense, Adwords and Firefox, but has now expanded to an impressive array of products to promote on publisher sites.

One major problem with CPA networks like and is that promotions are localized geographically and rarely allow international traffic. Google's CPA network takes care of that and provides a rotator for the ads repeated visitors are exposed to different ads. Many offers pay for people signing up for a free account on photo-sharing and dating sites.

Payments on Google's Adsense content network have bottom out making it hard for publishers to continue to run CPC context sensitive ads. Now with the improved Revver and Google ad programs, producers of original video content can monetize their traffic more successfully...or at least that's the promise.

There are some noticeable holes right off the bat. Revver is its classic form launched its program without updated analytics so producers will have no idea how many pre-roll ads are shown or how much of their money is coming from the CPM ads. Not all videos are used for the program, videos under 30 seconds are understandable not used, but no other details are given for video selection.

The Google Referrals network has a bit of a weak interface, the ads lack variety in their creatives, and the ads seem to pay slightly lower than other CPA networks.

Still big changes all around, Revver still hasn't had to content with Google directly, but that day will come. Google's own pre-roll video ad network is known to be in small scale testing, likely several years away from launching to the masses of producers.

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