Ken Liebeskind over at Clickz.com is reporting that CNN.com is testing longer in-stream video ads. On inauguration day, a 60 second ad for Starbucks appeared in a video featuring President Obama's speech.
It should be interesting to see the results of the test, especially for a news organization. The inauguration wasn't exclusive to CNN. About the only thing I'll wait for is an in-stream ad while I'm watching a TV show online. And that usually only happens on the rare occasion when I'm trying to record too many shows at the same time on my DVR, which can only handle two tuners at a given time.
But how should the results be interpreted? It's hard to imagine that a longer ad would increase conversions, but many advertisers might use in-stream ads as branding anyway, especially since that's what television advertising (the "other" video advertising) is primarily used for.
CNN is in prime place to conduct this testing. Last spring, they led the field in news video searches, beating Google (and YouTube), MSNBC, Yahoo and MSN.com.
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