TechCrunch caused an uproar yesterday within the online video community by suggesting that YouTube had ripped off VideoEgg’s idea for overlay ads. YouTube responded, suggesting that VideoEgg had ripped off YouTube’s idea for online video, and AdBrite and Brightcove claimed that they were using overlays long before VideoEgg or YouTube. More importantly, however, Brightcove CEO Jeremy Allaire said that overlays aren’t popular with advertisers:
To our disappointment, there has been extremely limited uptake by the advertising community around [overlays]. There are a lot of factors behind this limited uptake, including:
– the advertising community buying video have been very focused on leveraging existing creative and buying patterns in the online video space
– most content publishers and media owners have been focused on getting the ‘basics’ up and running, and also responding to the RFPs from marketers and advertisers, which are almost 100% focused on basic short-form video commercials
– for premium brands and content, the basic pre-roll and companion banners are yielding extremely attractive CPMs and there is little evidence that :15 ads have any negative impact on end-user viewership behaviour — in fact, our own metrics show that sites that run without any ads, and then introduce :15 pre-rolls and banners achieve identical usage and performance (e.g. no drop-off in users because of ads) on their content.
Nonetheless, we remain very bullish about ‘composite’ video advertising formats that combine overlays and unique and non-intrusive calls to action with deeper interactive marketing experiences. We’ve been pushing this for years and only now are starting to see the publishers and media owners that we work with begin to take an interest in these formats. I believe this is because we’re now entering a phase where content companies are looking at ways to maximise yield and revenue within their content, and they are introducing more mid and long-form content which require, by economic necessity, a different suite of formats to deliver a good user experience.