January 24, 2007 6:50 PM PST
Google expands video ad test
The search giant sent e-mails to some of its online-publishing customers this week, offering them the opportunity to participate in a pilot program involving video ads from WSJ.com, LX.tv, and Conde Nast's Epicurious and Style.com. The ads will be contextually targeted to the content on the Web sites.
Google is broadening a test announced on Monday in which it said it would run ads from Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music on its publisher customer sites, Google spokesman Brandon McCormick said. Revenue will be divided three ways--between the content owner, the Web site publisher and Google--and ads will be billed on a cost-per-thousand impressions model, as are traditional display ads.
Last summer, Google distributed MTV video clips over its AdSense network as part of an earlier test.
Last year, Conde Nast online division CondeNet added how-to cooking videos to Epicurious, the Web site for Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, and it expanded its fashion and designer videos on Style.com, the Web site for Vogue and W magazines.
One AdSense publisher who was asked to participate said he was thrilled at the opportunity, predicting that video ads would outperform standard Google text ads as long as the video ads are user-initiated and start playing only when someone has clicked on them.
"When it's new, and it's hot and cool, people will click, and the clicks will make money," said Allen Stern, editor of tech news blog CenterNetworks. "Video is definitely a more compelling medium."
Stern created a mock-up of what he suspects the video ads could look like on his Web site.
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