Online video advertising

It was no real surprise that this was coming, but it’s still interesting to see how every video service is trying out different kinds of advertising on and around their videos. I honestly expected it to happen earlier as we all know the daily costs for services such as Youtube are quite high and there’s little monetization just yet.

The solution that most services seem to bet on is the advertising pre-roll: showing a short ad before you see the video you actually chose/came for. Also here are some differences as some have a pre-roll for every video while on MSN Video for instance this is based on time spent on the site. So regardless of how many videos you watch, you’ll only get a pre-roll every 3 minutes. It’s interesting to see how ads are not tied to pageviews anymore although also this model will continue to improve. (disclaimer: I work for Microsoft)

Another solution is the advertising that shows as a partial overlay on the video. VideoEgg has this for a while now and it is also what Youtube introduced on their service not so long ago. After user complaints they made this an opt in for content owners since many weren’t happy at all. It would be interesting to find out how many content owners opted in for this.

And since online video is so popular, it attracts other types of advertising especially when people share videos. Google just introduced their Adsense Video Units which is basically a way of embedding video into your site/blog with ads surrounding it. People who do embed this can make a bit of money (similar to AdSense) but they could have done with a little bit less ads I think.

A last type of advertising with video that I found just recently is the Wildfire Network. It’s less related to advertising before and during online video, but I thought it’s still somehow part of this discussion. Basically it’ll pay bloggers to post videos on their blog, and it’ll show it’s a sponsored entry. Pay-per-post for video basically and I guess the whole pay-per-post discussion applies here as well.

Anyway, will any/more of these solutions attract advertisers? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I remember back in 2001 or 2002 (I still worked at Kinepolis Group, which is a cinema operator) we changed all online movie trailers from Quicktime to Flash (which back then was hardly used for video). At the same time we introduced the possibility of adding a 7 second commercial before each movie trailer and I always found it weird we were never able to sell that to anyone. And cinema advertising was big part of our business remember. Curious to see if that changed today, 5-6 years later.

Wait and see.

Windows Live for Nokia

Related to the press release of tonight (it was announced at 1AM my time) I wanted to post some more pictures of the Windows Live Client for Nokia but unfortunately my internet connection died right after I posted the ‘Microsoft and Nokia join forces‘ post. Read that first in case you missed that.

Anyway, here are the pictures that I wanted to show you as well:

nokiamobile      nokiamobile2      nokiamobile3

You can see your online/offline Messenger buddy list, a chat conversation (and some other ones open in the tabs as well) and your contact list. More images can be found here.

Nokia & Microsoft join forces!

I think this is some very exciting news for both Nokia and Microsoft, more specifically for Windows Live. From the press release:

“Starting today Nokia customers in eleven countries with compatible S60 devices can download the new suite enabling access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces. Starting next year, customers who purchase compatible Nokia Series 40 handsets will also have access to these popular Windows Live services.”

Here are some screens of the application:

\NOKIA\AALTO\Jun192006_170102_000040.cr2<br /> CaptureSN: 302089.046990<br /> Software: Capture One PRO for Windows<br /> \NOKIA\AALTO\Jun192006_170102_000040.cr2<br /> CaptureSN: 302089.046990<br /> Software: Capture One PRO for Windows<br /> \NOKIA\AALTO\Jun192006_170102_000040.cr2<br /> CaptureSN: 302089.046990<br /> Software: Capture One PRO for Windows<br />

Not only will Nokia add new devices that will get access to these services, more countries will be launching over time as well. For more information on which devices exactly as which 11 countries are included in this release:

“Nokia customers who own the Nokia N73, N80 Internet Edition, N95, N76 and the N93i can get the Windows Live services via the Download! application in the following countries; Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, UK , Sweden, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Customers can visit to learn more, and check if their country is on the availability list. Initially the service will be available as a free trail and then customers in select markets wishing to continue using the service may be asked to pay a monthly fee”

I’ve played a little with the Windows Live client on the Nokia and it’s a very nice experience. Especially the Live Messenger part is a very rich application that allows multiple chats, voice clips (very handy on mobile) and instant photo sharing over IM. And it’s nice to remember that you could already get Live Search on your Nokia for a while.

More information about all this on Phil Holden’s blog.

(disclaimer: I work for Windows Live)

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Read what matters

When I was going through my feeds today I discovered a new service called aideRSS and given my +300 subscriptions I’m always interested to find out better ways to manage these. It seemed like that is exactly what aideRSS is able to do so I checked it out immediately this morning. First thought: brilliant.


There are some feeds in my reader that definitely could be skimmed down to the most interesting posts, like the feed (image above) for instance so I gave that a try. After uploading a feed you can select to see all posts or only the good post, great posts or best posts. This is based on the PostRank feature that is propriatory to aideRSS and unfortunately the help page about that is offline for the moment as I’m curious to find out more about how they calculate that.

You can upload your whole OPML into the service, you can subscribe to a filtered feed (like all best posts from a feed) in the integrated feedreader or in your own. There are sharing widgets etc etc. And as you can see in the screenshot above, you get immediate info from, Digg, Technorati, … on the interaction for that post. This is something that I suggested to Technorati a few weeks ago so I obviously like that as well.

Best of all? It’s pretty amazingly fast (especially when they have a blog on record yet). And it’s there that I see the only problem for now as well, each time I did get an error it had something to do with uploading a feed that wasn’t in the system already. Hopefully they’ll fix that soon. And as said the PostRank information page gives an error as does the aideRSS blog for the moment.

Overall I think aideRSS still needs work but it offers a pretty good and fast solution with very good navigation so definitely worth a try. Sometimes it crashes when trying to add a new blog and I get the feeling there’s work to do on the PostRank score as well looking at some of the differences between blogs on that topic. I also think they have an opportunity to do some of the stuff we saw on Anyway good stuff you guys, I would give that feedback on your forum as well if it weren’t down for the moment ;)

[Via Blogologie]

New from Microsoft: Tafiti

Today Microsoft launched Tafiti, a new demo/experiment showing in a cool way what you can do combining Live Search with Silverlight. I hear you thinking: not another search, or Microsoft, huh!, … but I think you should take a look at it.

Tafiti, which means ‘do research’ in Swahili apparently, allows you to search the web like any other engine when it comes to the results themselves. But the way these results get presented and the way you can drag into ‘shelves’ where you can collect them is quite interesting.


I did a search on ‘silverlight’ and the view on top is where you see the news results of it, nicely presented in ‘newspaper’ style. In the carrousel on the left you can choose other verticals (web, images, …) and on the right you have the ‘shelves’ I mentioned earlier with some results stored on the first ‘shelve’. You can actually open up the results on a ‘shelve’ which shows all of them in one view and which has a blog it & email it buttons so you can send them through right away.

I’m going to play around with this a bit more myself, but make sure you do as well. I think it’s an interesting exercise. You can see a video of Tafiti in action at On10.

Brussels Girl Geek Dinner

When two of your favorite girl geeks set something up, what do you do? You talk about it of course, like if they needed more visibility :) A couple of months ago Hugh introduced me via email to Sarah Blow, the founder of the (London) Girl Geek Dinners. Unfortunately we haven’t met yet but had a few chats over IM and I’m pretty sure we’ll get together for drinks or some one of the following occasions I’m in London.

This way I knew for a while hat the Girl Geek Dinners were coming to Belgium as well, but last week that idea really came to live with the launch of the Brussels Girl Geek Dinner blog (design by Ine). So for all you Belgian girl geeks out there – subscribe to the blog while I’ll find a way to dress up for the occasion so I can attend that dinner as well ;)

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