Archive for the ‘Best Practices’ category

AdAge: Most Say Ads a ‘Reasonable’ Cost of Free Online Video

July 23, 2008

AdAge covered an interesting study on the acceptance of ad-supported online video content.

I am interested to know if acceptance would change if survey respondents were asked specifically about retail sites who produce informational videos (WineLibraryTV comes to mind–note: I’m just using the show as an example as I’ve never seen an ad on any episode I’ve watched). For me, I would still watch Gary Vaynerchuck’s wild tastings. He’s so entertaining, I’d take an ad–even two! But, a host that wasn’t so engaging…I’d probably go another direction.

Here’s the article,

Most Say Ads a ‘Reasonable’ Cost of Free Online Video

Survey: Viewers Most Amenable to Ads in TV Shows, Movies but Not Amateur Video
By Megan McIlroy

Published: July 17, 2008

NEW YORK ( — Good news for the growing number of ad-supported video services popping up online: The majority of digital video consumers will find the inclusion of advertising a “reasonable” expectation for accessing free online video content.

That’s according to a new survey of U.S. internet users aged 12 and older conducted by market-research company Ipsos MediaCT in February 2008.

Give and take
“Nobody is going to tell you they love advertising,” said Adam Wright, director of Ipsos Media CT. “But the [survey] confirmed the notion that people get the give and take. That can be reassuring for many of the people who are trying to crack the code [of ad-subsidized video models].”

The percentage of internet users who found advertising to be a reasonable price of admission for free video content varies by content but, in general, respondents were more likely to embrace advertising in long-form professional programming. At least three in four digital video consumers said they would find it “reasonable” for advertising to appear in the free digital distribution of full-length TV shows and movies, while about two out of three said the inclusion of advertising would be reasonable with free access to music videos, short news or sports clips.

“If it’s premium content, people are willing to sit through ads. It’s something that consumers already expect,” said Mr. Wright.

Bad news for amateur content
But it’s a different story when it comes to amateur digital content, where viewers are much less likely to accept advertising as a price of admission. Just over half of the respondents in the survey who have downloaded or streamed a video online say they would find it “not reasonable” to have advertising embedded within free amateur or homemade video offerings.

That finding could raise an important question for video-sharing websites like You Tube that are diversifying content to include longer, professionally produced material. According to Mr. Wright, these providers will have to “carefully consider” ad-subsidized models since their current audience has grown accustomed to free streams without any advertising.

One way to approach advertising for different types of content is to use different kinds of advertising, Mr. Wright said. For instance, an amateur video might use a 15 second pre-roll or a pop-up ad, depending on consumer reaction.

Said Mr. Wright, “You have to get into what are consumers are OK with and what they aren’t, and [ask] when do you start to reach a negative impact?”


Here’s a selection of responses from the Ipsos MediaCT survey:

How reasonable is it to have advertising in the following free video content?

Full-length TV show:
82% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
18% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable

Full-length movies:
75% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
25% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable

Music videos:
68% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
32% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable

Short news or sports clips:
63% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
37% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable

Movie/TV trailers or previews:
62% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
38% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable

Amateur or homemade video clips:
48% Very reasonable/somewhat reasonable
52% Not very reasonable/not at all reasonable


Case Study: 1408 Online Video Ad Campaign

November 19, 2007


12-day program
Start: 9/27/07
End: 10/8/07
Street Date: 10/3/07
Creative: Pre-Street, “Available Tuesday on DVD,” 9/27-10/2; Street, “Now Available,” 10/3-10/8

Total Video Impressions Delivered: 714,682
Total Companion Banner Impressions: 555,739
Click Through Rate: 1.51%

How did we do it? 
Matches were narrowed by publishers who accepted 15 second ads and 300×250 banners.
Data collected in the campaign’s early stages enabled optimization that powered the campaign’s success.

Campaign inventory
Casual gaming sites, pre-game ads
Video sites, in-stream ads


“Under a short timeline, SpotXchange delivered quality video and banner impressions for our DVD release campaign. Their targeting and optimization capabilities helped us drill down and reach an engaged and relevant audience.”   Michael Radiloff, EVP Marketing, Genius Products

Attention SpotXchange Publishers: New Enhanced Channel Management Tools – Pushed November 8

November 10, 2007

We just completed some new functionality that will enhance your visibility among advertisers in our network and allow you to provide additional information about the specific advertising opportunities your properties offer.

You will notice these enhancements when you create a new channel or edit your existing channels.

  • Media Kit – You can now upload a media kit—advertisers will have direct access to this document to help them make more informed decisions about your offering.
  • Channel Image – You may likewise upload a thumbnail logo that will be used to graphically represent your properties in the SpotXchange marketplace.
  • Enhanced Demographics – We have made the demographic profiles more comprehensive for advertisers. Publishers can now provide detailed demographic information about their audience, and designate which 3rd party measurement service (e.g. – comScore, Quantcast, etc.) provided the information. While this field remains optional, you are encouraged to complete it to the extent that you have user demographic data available—we have found that advertisers frequently turn to this type of information to guide their purchasing decisions.
  • Ad Filters – There are several new content filters that you can apply to your channels to exclude additional unwanted ad categories: sweepstakes, religion, land based casinos and dietary supplements.
  • InStream Ad Slot Position – To further help advertisers target their campaigns, you may now specify if you are showing instream ads in “pre”, “mid”, “post”, or multiple positions.
  • InGame Ads – We have separated “casual gaming” advertising opportunities out into a distinct ad type, to better call attention to this growing niche in our marketplace. If you are a casual game publisher or network, you will want to update your profile to reflect that your channels represent casual gaming opportunities.
  • InnerStream Ads – Publishers can now apply to serve our new overlay ad, called InnerStream, that we plan to launch later this year. Stay tuned.
  • Network Bids – Finally, you are now able to set minimum CPM limits to ads targeted across network, separately from the minimum CPM you set for ads targeted specifically to your channels. By way of example, while you might want a $10 CPM minimum for ads specifically targeting your SpotXchange channels, you may be willing to accept an ad targeted to Wisconsin that runs across our network, at a CPM of only $5. This lower value ad would only be shown to your users from Wisconsin.

I encourage you to login and update all these new fields in your channel profiles at your earliest opportunity. Feel free to ping me if you have any questions.

How to get the right advertisers targeting your ad inventory in the SpotXchange marketplace!

October 18, 2007

bullseye.jpg After being approved as a SpotXchange publisher, you will need to set up channels using the self-service SpotXchange publisher tools. Channels represent buckets of content that typically attract like demographics. The following article provides an overview of how to best set up your channels in the SpotXchange marketplace to attract advertisers at the highest possible CPM rates.

Profiling Your Channel: Filling out your channel profile with descriptive and compelling information is an important step towards connecting with appropriate SpotXchange advertisers who might be interested in advertising against your site’s content. Keep in mind that the information you enter in your channel profile is the only information prospective advertisers will have available to them to make a determination of the “fit” between your content and their campaign objectives—it’s a WYSIWYG system—the information you enter is the exact information the advertiser will have access to. So put on your marketing cap and make your profile as descriptive and persuasive as possible.


Mind Character Limits: All fields have character limits—this forces you to describe your site with a great degree of specificity. Channel name limits are 50 characters (including spaces) while the description field permits 255 characters.

Channel Hierarchy: Put some thought into how you want to arrange your channels hierarchically in the SpotXchange network. Does it make sense to group your channels as subchannels under a parent channel, or should the channels be insulated from one another?

This is an example of using subchannels effectively to represent a theoretical publisher’s offerings:

  • MicroMotion News
    • MicroMotion Entertainment News
    • MicroMotion Sports News

The more granular you can make your channels, the more apparent their focus becomes to advertisers.

  • MicroMotions Sports News
    • MicroMotion Sports News: Baseball
    • MicroMotion Sports News: Football
    • MicroMotion Sports News: Hockey
  • MicroMotion Entertaiment News
    • MicroMotion Entertaiment News: Movies
    • MicroMotion Entertaiment News: Music

It makes more sense to keep your channels as stand alone entries if they do not share any familial qualities:

  • MicroMotion Sports News
  • Blue Spruce Auto Reviews

Channel Names: Brand your channel names. Instead of generically calling your channel “Baseball News”, brand it “New England Baseball News” or something else that distinguishes your “Baseball News” content from other channels that may likewise offer similar content. The names you select are the names that will represent your channels in the marketplace when advertisers search for properties to sponsor.

Channel Pitch/Description: Write persuasively! This is your chance to describe, in your own words, why your channel deserves advertiser attention. Keep it concise, but make it compelling.

Banner Sizes: You are highly encouraged to serve a banner adjacency next to the video ad. Analysis has shown that sites that offer a banner adjacency achieve noticeably higher CTR than sites that do not—and CTR is an important metric for all video advertisers. If you need guidance on selecting the most appropriate banner size to use, we suggest 300×250 or 468×60 as these sizes seem to be the most popular among advertisers.


Keep Your Profile Focused: Selecting dozens of categories from the menu will not get you more advertisers—it will probably get you fewer than selecting two or three closely related, focused categories to characterize your channel. If your channel spans several disparate, unrelated content categories, you should probably consider breaking it out into discrete sub channels. Advertisers feel most comfortable when the content against which they will be advertising is transparent to them to a high level of specificity. The same principal of focus holds true when specifying your channel’s demographics.

If you don’t feel you nailed it the first time, don’t worry, because you can go back and edit your channel profile at any time.