Archive for July 2007

iMedia Connection: Rebirth of the 30-Second Spot?

July 25, 2007

iMedia Connection, VIDEO: IN FOCUS, By Adam Shahbaz, July 25, 2007  

Industry insight
The 30-second spot is not only alive and kicking but preferable, and users respond to them even better when they run as pre-rolls. This may seem counter-intuitive to current wisdom, but that’s what the Online Publishers Association study, “Frames of Reference,” suggests.

The OPA effort represents a step the entire interactive industry should be taking: seeking effective methods, standards and general clarity in the often hazy and uncertain terrain.

In that spirit, iMedia sought out top industry executives, with a special commentary by OPA president Pam Horan. We asked these experts whether the study is beneficial and persuasive enough to make them change their approach to online video marketing.

What we offer you here are not only six different approaches to the OPA study but also six different ways to think about online video. You’ll find attempts to tear apart or further legitimize the study, as well as a between-the-lines commentary on what kinds of people make an industry thrive.

Want to let us know what you think about the OPA study and the role of video ads? You can participate by sharing your comments.

Introducing the panel:

Matt Wasserlauf, CEO, Broadband Enterprises

Greg Verdino, CRO, crayon

Russell Scott, CEO, Jetset Studios

Mike Shehan, CEO, SpotXchange

Corey Kronengold, Director of Corporate Communications, Tremor Media

Pam Horan, President, OPA

Author notes: Adam Shahbaz is assistant editor at iMedia Communications, Inc.

Michael Shehan, SpotXchange

The OPA study is effective and persuasive. But, I also think it should be taken with a grain of salt. To say that consumers prefer 30-second ads is inferring quite a bit. Most, if not all, viewers would prefer no ads. Wouldn’t you like to watch “Lost” without commercial breaks? To me, the findings suggest that 30-second ads are far more effective at communicating a brand’s message. It makes sense that getting 30 seconds — rather than 15 — of an engaged consumer’s time will offer a better chance at communicating your value proposition. But, for better or worse, you have to factor the consumer’s and the publisher’s interests.

Consider the following when inserting 30-second pre-roll ads as opposed to 15-second ads (or other forms like in-player banners and user-initiated video ads):

  • Did consumers end up watching fewer videos on the site?
  • Did their overall viewing time decrease? (This is important considering Nielsen’s announcement that they are moving from page views to time spent on site).
  • Did the site maintain the same visitor retention rates?
  • How much revenue based on an effective CPM basis is the site generating with the different ad units considering 30-second slots are worth more to advertisers?

Overall, this study helps frame and advance the debate of 30-second versus 15-second ads. Stats like these are incredibly important, but I don’t like generalizations such as “consumers hate pre-rolls.” I’d rather see statistics backing up statements that express the interests of advertisers and publishers alike. As an exchange, SpotXchange has powerful opportunities to collect a range of performance stats and, as a result, we can advise both advertisers and publishers about best practices and emerging trends.

We have identified some interesting trends since our launch that relate to this very topic. When SpotXchange launched in the fall of 2006, the bulk of the ads we served were 30-second spots, and our publishers accepted that length since that’s what advertisers had to offer at the time.

Today more than half of the ads we serve are 15-second spots. This does not imply that advertisers are accepting the 15-second spots as the de facto, because our experience has been that they still want that 30-second commercial. But they are submitting to the 15-second ads for a variety of reasons, including publisher requirements, industry debate, available video assets, et cetera.

For the most part, our publishers are okay with 30-second ads, but they continue to be vocal about wanting shorter ads of 5-7 seconds. This leaves the 15-second spot as a solid middle ground.

By and large, the OPA study provides more than just valuable data. It also works to create a common mindshare among those in a space that is still in its infancy.

I suspect media buyers, particularly traditional agencies, are struggling with the idea of expanding their traditional TV ad campaigns to the online world primarily because no standard metrics are in place to judge a campaign’s success.

TV metrics leave a lot to be desired, but they are established and accepted by everyone in the industry. In contrast, online metrics are powerfully accurate, informative and provide an amazing positive feedback loop to judge a campaign’s success. However, a set of industry-wide, commonly accepted metrics for the online video ad space are yet to fully mature. So it is important that the OPA and others continue to share their findings with the industry to help navigate those standards.

Link to article


MediaPost: Visible World To Use SpotXchange For Targeted Video Ads

July 16, 2007

MediaPost, Online Media Daily, News Brief, Monday, Jul 16, 2007 6:01 AM ET

VISIBLE WORLD TODAY PLANS TO announce that it will work with SpotXchange to customize online video ads for specific demographics, geographic locations, market conditions, and other real-time data. Visible World said it now has more than 200 advertisers using its system of targeting and versioning for video advertising. SpotXchange’s Internet platform is a self-service exchange for online video ads.

 Link to article

Visible World Partners With SpotXchange to Deliver Targeted Online Video Advertising

July 15, 2007

Deal Enables Advertisers and Agencies to Dynamically Customize Web Video Ads for Specific Audiences, Occasions and Locations

New York-JULY 16, 2007-Visible World, the leading video advertising technology and services company, today announced that it will work with SpotXchange, the Internet’s first self-service exchange for online video ads, to enable advertisers and agencies to customize online video ads for specific demographics, geographic locations, market conditions, and other real-time data.

Visible World’s best of breed, cross platform solution enables the creation, delivery and monitoring of dynamically customized video ads within any media plan. Building on the momentum of the recent launch of Visible World’s broadband division, the SpotXchange agreement enables Visible World’s advertisers to optimize video messages across hundreds of targeted web sites.

SpotXchange provides advertisers and agencies the ability to target video spots geographically, demographically and contextually. The company will now leverage Visible World’s Emmy-award winning video targeting and versioning technology to enable the content of the ads themselves to be customized to deliver optimized messages based on any set of data such as zip code, temperature or weather conditions to sports scores, stock prices, and mortgage rates. For example, for an automotive client’s campaign, the system might serve a video ad for an SUV or light truck in response to a call from a rural region, and an ad for a sedan in response to a call from an urban location. Ads can also be customized to provide location-specific details such as dealer information and local promotions.

“Online advertisers have a high expectation for targeting and customer relevance,” said Michael Shehan, SpotXchange President and CEO. “SpotXchange allows media buyers to optimize their media budgets in real time with complete transparency on where their ads are running. By working with Visible World, media buyers get the added benefit of also optimizing the messaging that our viewers are receiving.”

“Advertisers are used to targeting their display ads online, now they can target their rich media banners and in-stream video in the same way,” said Andy Sheldon, vice president Broadband & Wireless at Visible World. “With the help of partners like SpotXchange, our new broadband division is creating a seamless best-of-breed solution for dynamically optimized video messaging through any channel for the highest possible level of targeting, campaign management, and customer impact.”

Visible World has over 200 advertisers using its system of targeting and versioning for video advertising. The new broadband division and supporting partnerships come in direct response to advertiser interest in delivering their campaigns for broadband.


The SpotXchange patent-pending platform is the Internet’s first self-service exchange for online video ads. The company is wholly-owned by Colorado-based digital marketing and technology company, Booyah Networks. In 2006, Booyah Network ranked 23rd on Inc. magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing companies. The company has offices in Westminster, Colo., Los Angeles and New York. Clients and partners include ClipSyndicate,, GoFast, Visible World and others. Visit SpotXchange online at


Visible World provides a complete, cross-platform solution for electronically creating, delivering, and monitoring dynamically customized video ads within any media plan. Our integrated IntelliSpot® solution enables advertisers to edit their content on-the-fly, automatically, anywhere and anytime they run to reflect the time, location, and context in which the ads appear. Visible World was founded in 2000 by advertising and media veterans and is based in New York, NY.

SpotXchange contact: Valerie Quintanilla,, 303.345.6623

Visible World contact:  Amy Janzen,, 917-209-6819

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