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Blip.TV 'Makes,' Serves Web Ads

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NEW YORK Video sharing site Blip.tv has introduced an interactive advertising tool that lets Web content producers create and serve ads for their programming.

According to CEO Mike Hudack, the do-it-yourself system points up a potential solution to the challenge of how to monetize content on the Web and heralds "a major shift of power from the big-name networks and studios towards the content creators."

"Everyone is trying to figure out how to make money from video online," said Phillip Torrone, senior editor of Make magazine. The quarterly for tech enthusiasts is inaugurating Blip.tv's DIY ad platform via Weekend Projects, its new video podcast series on the site. O'Reilly Media sibling Craft magazine is also contributing how-to content for the show's 48 weekly installments.

Each 10-15-minute episode closes with a homemade ad allowing users to buy the materials needed to create a featured project, among other items available at Make's online store. For example, an episode demonstrating how to build an iPod charger yields a linked ad where consumers can purchase the electronic charger kit.

The linchpin of what Torrone terms a strategy of "waste reduction" is to create contextual ads that "always make sense" for a given video. "If you're watching the content all the way through, you're indexing high on the likelihood for purchase," he said. "We don't force anyone to do anything unless they click on the link."

Weekend Projects host Bre Pettis sets up the post-roll as part of the video narrative to alert users that editorial content culminates in a commercial.

In addition to touting products, Weekend Projects will also push company-sponsored events and services through the DIY ad model. For its Maker Fair in San Mateo, Calif., Make will post a video countdown selling tickets and replace it with a link to buy a DVD once the event takes place.

As a Blip.tv rep put it, the DIY ad model "will challenge even the largest ad companies to compete with the thousands of creative online video producers and force them to adapt campaigns accordingly."