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Google Begins Offering Video Ads

Google has begun offering video advertising on publisher sites, though not its own sites, reports the Mercury News. On Monday, Google placed a video ad for Max Factor makeup alongside a story about a fight between designer Tommy Hilfiger and singer Axl Rose on a celebrity news website. Google has been testing video ads since early spring.

"In the coming days, we will be adding click-to-play video ads to the line-up of text, Flash and image ad formats currently supported by the Google content network. At launch, video ads will be available to AdWords advertisers in the US, Canada and Japan - but we plan to roll them out to other regions shortly," writes the official Inside AdWords blog, which also displays an example ad.

Advertisers can buy the video ads either on a cost per per click or a cost per thousand basis, reports the New York Times, citing Gokul Rajaram, director at Google's AdSense Network. He says Google estimates that advertisers would need to bid "in the single-digit dollars to low double digits" to display the video ads to 1,000 people - somewhat less than the $20 CPM or more that others charge.

The Google video ad units appear as static images, until users click on them to activate the videos, which can last up to two minutes. Google's AdSense will make it easier for small businesses to place video ads, but larger advertisers would also use the system to experiment with video ads before deciding to air them on TV, Rajaram is quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

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