One of the bigger perceived stumbling blocks to monetizing online video was the lack of industry-wide standards. Pre-roll, post-roll, no-roll, overlay, how long, how short etc… With text ads and especially display ads (banners etc.) the standardization of specific unit formats helped propel the growth of those ad delivery mechanisms. I am now happy to report that as of today, the Internet Advertising Bureau has finally settled on some standard units for online video advertising.
While this won’t immediately lead to a rush of ad dollars for online video distributors or creators, it should begin to set the table for consistent adoption and growth going forward. Bottom line, this is an important milestone and very good news for everyone involved in the online video industry.You can download the full IAB Digital Video Ad Format Guidelines and Best Practices document here: PDF File (496k).There are still hurdles that need to be overcome. The whole cost-per-impression (CPM) vs. engagement debate is ongoing. Most people agree that CPM is not the best metric for online video. But how will we track, measure and monetize different levels of engagement? This will take more time, industry debate and experimentation to shake out, but the introduction of standard ad units by the IAB is a big step in the right direction. For more on the CPM vs. engagement debate, watch Yahoo!’s Rebecca Paoletti discuss the issue in more depth: