NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Viacom network Nickelodeon has launched TurboNick, a broadband video platform of TV-like programming on Nick.com. Advertisers including General Mills, Kellogg's, Activision, Topps and Sony Pictures have deals with both the children's network and the Web site, a spokeswoman for Nickelodeon said.
Nickelodeon's video play is the latest Viacom online initiative that seeks to take advantage of the Web as a major growth area. VH1 earlier this week said it is starting up its own content-rich broadband-entertainment network, VSpot, with the premiere the first episode of the new season of The Surreal Life 5. And last month, parent MTV Networks acquired children's character site Neopets for $160 million.
'Leave-behind' display ads
The video content on Nick.com resembles TV programming, with online episodes of up to 22 minutes long. An ad runs in the video player box directly after the first two episodes have played, Nickelodeon's spokeswoman said. The user has no choice as to whether to watch the ad. There is a minimum of 5 minutes before another ad is served. A "leave-behind" display ad appears while a video message plays and remains in sight on the Web page until the next ad runs. Advertising will not break into programming.
"Having advertising that's unskippable is already a vast improvement over people watching ads on TiVo," said Todd Chanko, an analyst at Jupiter Research. "Advertisers are extending their [TV] audience relationship through the development of the Web site."
TurboNick features six "video gateways" that show 20 hours of new programming, refreshed each week. Previews of shows that will appear on the TV network are aired, starting with Catscratch. Also accessible are animated hits such as SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents, comedy clips, movie trailers, game demos and reruns of former Nick network shows. Original content includes exclusive celebrity interviews and short-form programming from the makers of Rugrats called Schmutz. An area appealing to middle-schoolers, TeeNick, will broadcast live content and music videos.
Ad prices for broadband-enabled videos ranges from $15 to $25 per thousand viewers, media buyers say. They are on par with TV prices, but provide advertisers with more accountability. On the Internet, advertisers pay only for what Web users actually view.
A soft launch of the site occurred July 1, and visitors had activated 1.25 million video streams by July 6, the spokeswoman said.
Promotions for Nick.com's video platform begins July 15 with spots on the TV network and banner ads on the Web.
Other broadband initiatives
Two other broadband initiatives are also rolling out: Nick Jr. Parents and Nick Jr. Video. The parents channel specializes in how-two videos like instructionals on making finger puppets or musical instruments with a child. Nick Jr. Video, debuting Aug. 10, is geared to preschoolers.