Google to Serve Online Video Ads

Those of us running Google Adsense strips on our Websites will soon be getting video ads as part of the package.

Google Inc. will begin distributing online video ads for the first time later this week, continuing the Internet search engine leader’s effort to diversify beyond the static written messages that generate most of its profits. The video expansion, announced late Monday, will affect thousands of Web sites that rely on Google to post ads related to the surrounding material on a page. For instance, a news story about housing might prompt Google to display an ad for real estate agents.

Google isn’t allowing the video ads to appear on its own Web site — a heavily trafficked destination that produced 58 percent of its $2.25 billion in revenue during the first three months of this year. Despite that restriction, Google’s push into online video advertising represents a significant step for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company as it explores new ways to propel its rapid earnings growth. Google began distributing graphical ads two years ago and during the past year has been dabbling in print and radio marketing.

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As consumers spend more time on the Internet at the expense of traditional media, major advertisers are becoming increasingly interested in building their brands on the Web. Unlike small advertisers, large companies generally demand much more sophisticated marketing vehicles than the bland approach popularized by Google’s text-based ads. “A certain segment of advertisers have told us that they want richer and more engaging messaging capability,” said Gokul Rajaram, product management director of Google’s AdSense program.

The soaring popularity of blogs that offer video feeds as part of their service leads me to think that Google is on to something big here. My personal preference when exploring the Web is for text and a few pertinent graphics, as that allows me to scan for the information I want most quickly. Clearly, though, there is a huge segment that prefers video.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.