Who Holds the Keys to Video-Related Ads?

Nielsen will release a service enabling broadcasters and cable networks to control and make money from their online video distribution (per today’s WSJ, subscription only). Through fingerprinting technology, the video may be blocked, permitted to load, or “perhaps load only if it is attached to a particular piece of advertising.”

This announcement makes me wonder who holds the keys to video-related ads. With Nielsen acting as a neutral party, I would like to believe the largest rights holders keep control of their ad sales and sources.

However, we can’t predict new moves from social networks, such as YouTube. What if the network itself starts to block copyrighted clips, but you want to show your clips and ads? What if the network begins showing ads that somehow interrupt yours? What if you prefer to use the network’s ad inventory after all?

Regardless of these unknowns, the Nielsen announcement is interesting news. We’ll see who gets real traction in this “video cop” marketplace, and how they charge for or otherwise monetize their services.

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