Internet Video Shorts as Advertisements- An Enlightenment.


Internet video sharing sites, such as Youtube and, have recently exploded with popularity and, thus, so have the internet video short advertising opportunities associated with them. As of June 2007, there are over 1 billion internet users. And according to, “11.5% of internet users visit YouTube, which equals a total of 124,190,000 YouTube users.” According to, “More content has been uploaded to YouTube in the past two months than if ABC/NBC/CBS had been airing new content since 1948.” And on the contrary, “Traditional advertising is in steep decline.”
There are two main types of internet video short advertisements; In-stream and Out-of-stream. In-stream video advertisements are played while another video is playing. They can air before the video, during the video, or after the video; Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll, respectively. The video spots are normally either 15 or 30 seconds long. Pre-roll is the most commonly used. Out-of-stream ads include Roll-overs, In-banner, and In-text. Many agencies package video ads with a companion ad, usually a banner, on the same page.

Reasons for Using:

Internet video short advertising has many advantages in this rapidly-evolving, digital world of ours. The audience is composed of active viewers who voluntarily respond to advertising. Furthermore, internet users are more likely to watch videos than they are to read copy. says, “Internet video short advertising is 4-7 times more effective than banner advertising and currently only costs 2-3 times more… bargain.” By utilizing tags and keywords, advertisers can attach their ads to the most relevant videos linked to the product. The bottom line, as said in the overview, is that watching internet video on media sharing sites are becoming extremely popular, which makes the video advertisements attached to them a heavily viewed venue.


The first, and foremost, limitation of internet video advertising is that not everyone has the internet. In the past this has been more severe, but currently over 1 billion people use the internet and that number is steadily growing. Video ads also tend to annoy the viewer. Advertisers are trying to limit this annoyance by using Pre-roll ads, which play before the video and are of little annoyance to the viewer. “The similarity of pre-rolls to television commercials is part of the appeal to advertisers, some of whom are looking for the easiest way to shift ad spending from television to online,” says Douglas Macmillan, Businessweek Online. Also, internet video advertisements typically are not of high production quality and, going back to the annoyance factor, may clutter the webpage and make navigation problematic. Ad-blocker programs developed to block internet advertising of all forms have raised barriers against internet video short advertising, as well. Finally, internet video shorts cannot deliver rapid results. The process of awareness takes place gradually, but in the end, is very effective.


“On average, User-generated video advertising costs $15CPM, Short-clip advertising costs $30CPM, and Long-form video advertising costs $40CPM. These rates are currently very low when compared to other forms of internet advertising, and especially, when compared to traditional forms of advertising,” according to

Reach & Frequency:

An internet video short advertisement’s reach and frequency are monitored in a different ways than when using stone-age advertising. “Reach is no longer as relevant as it used to be. The audience content of a site has become more important.” When measuring reach, it is not determined by the actual number of people reached, but by the number of people that a website can potentially reach, which makes large websites, like google, more attractive to advertisers. Frequency has increased; one exposure per ad has become five exposures per ad. An increase in frequency is sometimes a negative influence on an ads success, but that’s not the case with internet video short advertising. Advertising on a website that 1 million people visit once is not as attractive as a website that 100,000 people visit ten times.


Internet video short advertising schedules are normally custom- tailored to the client’s needs, based on budget, reach & frequency requirements, and target audience.


Internet video viewers are likely to do the most internet buying. This holds true across all product/service categories. When considering the purchase process, as a whole, the internet greatly dominates all other forms of media. According to a survey done by, “48% of people say that the internet is the most influential in initial awareness, 55% say that the internet is most influential in deciding where to buy, and 56% of the sample said that the internet is most influential in the ultimate purchase decision.” The internet’s dominance over other media extends across all product/service categories. says, “51% of the sample said that the internet was the most powerful influence over travel-related purchases, 42% said the same about automotive- related purchases, 41% said the same about entertainment-related purchases, and 40% said the same about clothing, footwear, and jewelry-related purchases.”

Audience Qualities:

The internet video short advertising audience is a very diverse one, but a very responsive one. The main idea to keep in mind when targeting these folks is that they are generally impatient. The average household income for internet users is $59k, which is above the U.S. average of $46k. 40% of internet users view online videos daily; 70% view weekly. Most of them are young, male, and affluent. “You will have an active audience that will watch your ads by choice, unlike the passive TV audience that watch the ads by obligation,” says

Types of internet videos that viewers watch daily:

  • 14% watch news-related videos
  • 9% watch funny videos.
  • 7% watch sports highlights.
  • 6% watch TV shows.
  • 5% watch movie trailers.
Percentages obtained from

Means by which internet videos are reached:

  • 44% of internet users discover videos randomly.
  • 43% specifically seek out videos.
  • 43% are accessed through links in e-mails from family, friends, colleagues, etc.
Percentages according to

Finally, users of mobile devices, such as iPhones and Blackberries, have rapidly begun to join the audience of internet video short advertising. This is significant because, according to, “The number of people who use social networks from their smartphones skyrocketed 187%, to 18.3 million unique users, in July, compared with the same month a year earlier.” says, “41% of users say that they view internet video on their devices, weekly; 12% say that they view internet video on their device, weekly.”


To maximize the responsiveness of an audience to internet video short advertising, the content of the ad must match, or at least, pertain to, the content of the video. Overall, 80% of people who encounter an ad actually view it. says, “20% of people who view ad take some sort of actions and 16% actually buy something.”

Types of action taken:

  • 31% of people who took action checked out the company website.
  • 15% of people went to the store to check out the product.
Percentages obtained from

Users are also more likely to respond to online video short advertisements on media websites. said, “The highest response rates came from magazine websites; 45%, and user-generated content sites; 35%.”

Other Interesting Qualities:

  • “Internet video short advertisements can be placed after a competitor’s ad to take advantage of competition,” says
  • Comment boxes allow for immediate feedback from viewers.
  • Client testimonials generally work well for this type of advertising.

Current Successful Advertisers:

There are many, many online advertising agencies that deal with internet video short advertising. The following ten agencies are only a small fraction of what is actually out there at the client’s disposal:
  • BrightRoll- Offers Pre-roll and Mid-roll; focuses on keywords; claims to be fastest-growing video advertising company with 800 million ads served.
  • VideoEgg- Uses “ticker” in videos if person wants to learn more; less intrusive optional ads; 15 million videos per day.
  • AOL’s advertising network; pre-roll and in- banner.
  • Roo- Licenses videos and sells advertising across networks; Pre-roll based on demographics and user interests.
  • ClipSyndicate- Same concept as Roo; 15- second pre-rolls.
  • BrightCove- Uses combines video commercials and banner ads, video overlay, or player takeover.
  • Broadband Enterprises- Video network; more than 450 publishers including FOX; mainly pre-roll.
  • ValueClick- Largest independent ad network; “In stream” ads are pre- and post- roll; banner ads added, as well.
  • AdBrite- Recently launched InVideo, it’s own video player and ad network; split screen- ads and video play at once; allows clients to watermark video.
  • Pre- and post- roll adds; places relevant text ads along with video.
Company information obtained from


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