Looking ahead: Video Next Big Thing For Web Advertising

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As more consumers go online via broadband connections, they have embraced video on the Web. This year, advertisers will follow them, according to the 2005 Online Media Outlook, released by Avenue A/ Razorfish.

Advertisers have seen the impact online video ads can play in their campaigns, but most are still in the testing phase. So, price, duration, standard formats, tracking and reporting "are still very much in flux," Avenue A/Razorfish found.

The ad formats purchased most widely are: "in-page," in which a video ad exists within an on-page ad unit; "in-stream," in which a user requests video content and an ad is shown within that content; and "transitional," which appears between pages.

Inventory that accommodates video is still limited across the Web, although the major portals, Yahoo, America Online and MSN, "are each very focused on video," said Jeff Lanctot, VP-media, Avenue A, who wrote the study. With the introduction of MSN Video in 2004, MSN has a bit of a head start, but "it's very early in the race," he cautioned. AOL has considerable "homegrown" content from parent Time Warner. And Yahoo is increasingly entertainment focused. It was the online partner for the TV series "The Apprentice" last year and is the exclusive distributor of the new JibJab animated features.

What's the next development in online video innovation? Video search, Mr. Lanctot said. "Imagine going to Google, typing in an actor's name and seeing a clip from a film," he said.

For more on Avenue A/Razorfish's study, go to AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq26h

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