Today Google introduced a “closed beta” that allows for the in-stream insertion of ads in video content on its AdSense network. Here’s the Inside AdSense explanation: “[W]e’re extending AdSense to online video content. Publishers in this test will be able to define at what point in their videos that streaming video ads will appear.”
A separate e-mail from Google said the following:
Publishers will now be able to insert high quality, relevant in-stream ads that enhance their video content while maintaining a positive user experience. It also provides broader distribution for participating publishers, and an effective way for advertisers to reach their target customers with rich, engaging messaging. This test represents our continued efforts to address the challenges faced by publishers who want to monetize their video content, by advertisers who want access to quality video inventory, and finally by users who want ads to enhance their video watching experience, not detract from it.
* The test will run on participating sites throughout the network.
* As with current AdSense publishers, revenue will be split between the website publisher and Google. The exact revenue share is not being disclosed.
* The advertisements will play on the publishers’ Flash players, not on YouTube or Google Video hosted videos.
* Publishers can select which videos to monetize and track their performance using AdSense. They can also choose where the ads will appear within the videos.
* Ad creatives, which can be no longer than 30 seconds, can be made skippable for users.
Google had run different video tests on its AdSense network in the past (explained on the AdSense blog), but none involved in-stream advertising. This marks something of a shift and new, more serious emphasis on video ads for Google. We also speculate that this is a test bed for the potential future appearance of “richer format” ads on Google.com itself.