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Monday, April 16, 2007

Video Ads on YouTube: Launching Next Week?

YouTube has been talking since January about integrating advertising into its videos. Viewers could start seeing pre-roll and post-roll ads on some videos as soon as next week. Video creators will be invited to opt in to the advertising program -- it won't be foisted upon all creators -- and YouTube will split the ad revenues 50/50.

This tantalizing tip is courtesy of Howard Lindzon, founder of Wallstrip. I had the chance to chat briefly with Lindzon after a panel on Internet video at the Web 2.0 Expo this morning.

(Post-script: This later became a Variety story. Then, Howard and I spoke by phone a few days later, and while he said he was convinced that YouTube would launch advertising at some point, he wasn't standing by what he'd said earlier in the week. He did note that he'd posted some videos with his own pre-roll advertising inserted in them, and YouTube didn't have a problem with that. YouTube later issued this statement to Beet.TV.)

During the panel, which was ably moderated by Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee, Lindzon had quipped that he was hoping that Google or Yahoo would solve the problem of generating real revenue from videos "before we run out of money." Lindzon also said he was more enthusiastic about product endorsements delivered by the hosts of a show, rather than unrelated spots tacked onto it, TV-style. He said he is a fan of Howard Stern's "live read" commercials on radio.

Here's more on YouTube and advertising, from Ars Technica and the BBC.

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