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YouTube's New Skippable Ads Uses CPA Model

YouTube is debuting its TrueView ad format, which lets users skip ads they don't want to see - and only charges advertisers when the viewer has actually watched the ad. The product is launching with a countdown button lets users skip the ad after it plays for five seconds - TrueView Video Ads - InStream. Later, in some cases, advertisers can offer viewers a choice of three pre-roll options to watch.

Google says early results suggest view-through rates of 20-70%. According to one early advertiser, GoPro, which makes and sells the HD HERO line of wearable, gear-mountable HD cameras, it has seen a 40% view-through rate.  Robert Wray, director of technology in Governor Martin O’Malley's re-election campaign in Maryland, says the campaign achieved a 45% view-through rate with TrueView ads. The format also has geo-targeting capabilities, which allowed some politicians to deploy it on a county-by-county basis in the midcycle elections this year.

Coming up, Google says, will be features that allow users to increase a video's view count, that make it available for self-service customers and that will simplify buying and reporting.

Cost Per Action Becomes More Prevalent

Google has been pushing the cost per action pricing model in several products. Other providers and brands have been experimenting with it as well. Diageo recently tried out with a campaign based on a cost-per-engagement model. (via New Media Age).

A branded content hub with the theme "evenings in" game users a choice of movies to watch for free and the ability to create music playlists and their own TV guides. The provider, Mail Online receives more in compensation when users watch a movie, create a playlist or enter a competition after viewing a Diego ad, NMA says.

Variations of the CPA Model

Vendors are also developing metrics that are tailored to their increasingly specialized ad formats. For example,TeleNav has launched a drive-time search and navigation mobile advertising platform that provides providing advertisers with such metrics as "Drive-to Rate.” This captures the number of users who viewed an ad and chose to drive to the advertiser's business location.

Start-up AdKeeper has rolled out a beta for a new online ad service that lets users save ads they come across - or are shown - online into a personal 'keeper' in order to view later. Then they can sort through, share, even rank and review - and of course, buy from - at their leisure. The service doesn't require a download or browser extension or plug-in. Instead, the ads come embedded with a K on which consumers click to save the ad. Several companies have signed on for the service including Allstate, Ally Bank, AT&T, Best Buy, CBS, Ford, Gap, General Mills, InterContinental Hotels Group, JetBlue, Kmart, Kraft Foods, Macy's, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Sara Lee, Sears, Showtime, The Advertising Council, Unilever and Warner Bros. The service will be generally available in the first quarter of 2011.

AdoTube recently launched the Polite Pre-Roll ad format for short-form videos, which gives viewers a choice of when they can watch the ad. Although not as user-friendly as an opt-out button, the feature does let them minimize the ad until they are ready to watch. Under preliminary testing with select advertisers, the format has seen a 133% higher click-thru rate, a 36% lower abandonment rate, and in some cases an even higher view-through rate than the standard Pre-Roll, according to AdoTube.

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