NYTimes.com Embraces Video Ads

NEW YORK NYTimes.com said it has started offering in-stream online video advertising, becoming the latest Web publisher to embrace the ad format.

The Web site is showing pre-roll video ads in its “Movie Minutes” section, where users can watch film reviews and reports from The New York Times critics. NYTimes.com is using Viewpoint’s Unicast In-Page online video technology for the ads at launch.

“Driving TV commercials online is definitely a goal,” said Heather Kelz, director of ad operations at NYTimes.com.

Fox Searchlight is NYTimes.com’s first online video advertiser, signing a deal to be the exclusive sponsor of “Movie Minutes” videos. Previously, NYTimes.com only offered advertisers the ability to show video ads within banner ad units.

Keltz said NYTimes.com would show either 15- or 30-second video ads, depending on the length of the clip they precede. NYTimes.com plans to re-launch sections of its Web site in 2005. Keltz said management would look at ways to include more video on the site.

NYTimes.com increased its online video inventory with its October 2004 redesign of technology section, which carries video reports from tech columnist David Pogue.

Several online publishers have increased their video offerings, potentially offering a lucrative new ad format to lure brand advertisers more comfortable with television advertising.

Women-focused site iVillage in recent weeks overhauled its Internet site to include video offerings on every Web page. The company said advertiser demand was outstripping supply. Dow Jones launched a video center at WSJ.com in November 2004. Other online publishers like MarketWatch.com and Forbes.com offer in-stream, ad-supported video.

Jupiter Research forecasts ad spending on Internet video will rise from $121 million in 2003 to $198 million in 2005.