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Wednesday, August 22, 2021

Even for a cash machine like Google, $1.65 billion amounts to a load of dough. So to justify that purchase price for YouTube, Mountain View is getting serious about monetizing everyone’s favorite video site, ala outside-the-box video advertising spots that aim to be as unintrusive as they are engaging.

Google is trying something different for YouTube. Starting today, it will offer advertisers “overlay” clips that are visible on the bottom fifth of the screen. If the viewer does not click on the ad, it disappears in 10 seconds. If the viewer clicks on the ad, the content video pauses and resumes when the person clicks out of the ad.

Aside from the approach — a channel-within-a-channel delivery that differs greatly from the forced intro clip that plays before the main video — what most interesting is how this arm of Google’s ad machine would differ from the usual AdSense structure:

Unlike Google’s traditional text-based search ads, which are auctioned off, the video ads will be sold by a traditional sales force.


And unlike Google’s pay-per-click search ads, advertisers will be charged by eyeball — $20 per thousand viewers — regardless of whether the user clicks on the overlay.

Basically, Google is tossing the AdSense model out the window when it comes to Web video advertising. This means the text-ad network it’s cultivated for years, and that has been the basis for its success as a public company, flat-out doesn’t produce for this Web 2.0 territory.

The question is, why not?

I think the answer points to a fundamental shift in how Web surfers are viewing webpages. Video-embedded pages encourage people to stay on that page for extended periods. In fact, Web audience measurement ratings standards recently have been amended to reflect this trending: Instead of measuring number of pageviews, time spent on a site and its pages is becoming the determinant of popularity.

If you think about it, that’s a major change from how the Web experience has been up until now. Sites used to be designed for relatively quick scanning, laden with hyperlinks to facilitate constant browser refreshing. Under that usability model, hits and views were a valid measure for how well a site was attracting traffic.

Google seized upon this structure when it rolled out AdSense, for the simple reason that its text ads had the look-and-feel of additional navigational elements. Combined with Google’s search-indexing of the AdSene-hosting publisher sites that resulted in highly relevant ads — i.e., a site about flyfishing would call up AdSense ads for fishing products — it generated ads that were eye-catching enough to encourage clickthrus. One link is as good as another to keep up the movement.

That doesn’t work with video-embedded sites like YouTube. Users don’t want to move away from a page, or at least a site, that has those even more eyecatching videos. Yet by their nature, that’s what an AdSense text ad offered — downgrading from the robust content experience of video to the staid content of a non-video website. It was a mismatch.

So video ads are designed to match up with video content. Price-wise, since traffic measures like actionable clickthrus don’t count in this context, simpler viewer stats determine the price.

Since the pay-per-click model is rife for click fraud, Google’s shift for video could also have a practical application across all Web advertising. In other words: It’s only the beginning.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/22/2007 11:54 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet
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They smell, their black silhouettes remind you of Dracula — and they barf at the drop of a hat. What’s not to love about New York’s new harbor island bird, the double-crested cormorant?

As the boat approached the island, many of the birds flushed, rising off the branches and settling on the roof of an abandoned building. Sometimes, when [biology graduate student Colin] Grubel ventures into a colony, he said, he hears thumping, as the birds regurgitate on their way to a safer perch.

It is not entirely clear why cormorants are such prodigious vomiters. Like many birds, they feed their young regurgitated fish, but they also vomit when approached by predators — perhaps to drop weight in preparation for flight, but possibly also to distract their predators. There is also, said John Waldman, a Queens College biology professor and Mr. Grubel’s thesis adviser, the “nervousness theory.”

Makes me want to hitch a ferry ride south of the Verrazano Bridge to Swinburne Island, to see the action!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/22/2007 09:43 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Science
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Viagra sales are down? Time for the new “Viva Viagra” marketing campaign to come to the rescue, featuring this collection of 50-ish garage banders, jammin’ on the one:

And if their musical interpretation of penis-pill potency doesn’t cut it for you, you can always remix to your liking.

What do you suppose the name of this ragtag band is? I’m thinking, “Dick Limpy and the Four Johnsons”. As hokey as the obvious voice-dubbing job in this wretched TV commercial.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/22/2007 09:05 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy
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