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Hi All,

For my Chinese friends, Happy Chinese New Year. May the year of the Ox bring prosperity and good fortune to you & your business.

Speaking of fortune, I came across some interesting articles in the NYT on video ads. Seriously folks, there are more and more articles these days on monetising videos & this can only mean one thing, there is going to be a boom in video ads in the near future. Its almost a prophesy & I strongly believe it will come true.

Discovery channel is discovering (pun intended) that there is money in its 23 year archive of video productions and has started to monetise them on the Web. This is strictly for the Internet as they expect Web video to grow and along with it video ads. Check out the NYT article here.

Then there’s the opportunity of making ads for the SMEs.  See the article here. The company Turnhere makes video ads for the SME industry on the cheap, just US$1,000 per video ad and according to Kelsey Group an advertising research group, the SME video  ad business will be worth US$ 1.5 billon in 2012. Thats just for small businesses.

Kelsey believes that Interactive advertising (which includes search, display, classifieds & other interactive ads) will increase from US$45 billion in 2007 to US$147 billion globally in 2012. Thats huge business.

Yet making money from video ads is tough at the moment. Pre-roll ads (just before the video starts) or ads either in between the video (a clear no-no in video advertising) or at the end of the video (who will watch it?) have all been tried with varying degrees of success (pre-roll is acceptable, the others not so). Companies like Turnhere make the entire video the ad and has had some success with this type of ad.

But how do you monetise other forms of video, news stories or documentaries or other short videos? I wrote about the Stanford startup that blends videos into videos and there is another startup in Israel called Innovid which also blends videos into videos, sort of like a “skin” over the original which is even clickable to take you to the advertiser’s site. Veeple is another startup that enables content owners and publishers to monetize their video content, by embedding interactive, clickable elements to their video. Thus you can embed clickable logos and links within your video to send viewers to your website, social network profile, etc. All these are innovations that will only help create the video ad industry of the future.

In terms of behaviour, are users taking to video ads? Apparently yes, based on a survey done by Kelsey (see below). Almost 43% of those who saw a video ad visited the website and 15% made a purchase. Thats pretty impressive & can be indicative of the future potential of video ads.

One company Blendtec even increased its brand recognition and sales by 500% thanks to its funny ads on YouTube. That is proof enough that you can monetise video.

Moral of the story? “There’s gold in them there video ads” (vads?)

Kelsey Video Ads Survey 2008

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This is a awesome example of a great innovation. By enabling you to insert your video or picture into another video, it allows you to sell ads within your videos and also to do so much more with videos. If this works seemlessly then it is going to be a great business idea. Thanks to Colin Wong for posting this video on his Facebook.

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