Google Tests In-Stream Video Ads

NEW YORK Google said it is testing a new in-stream video ad product with a select group of advertisers and publishers within its AdSense network.

The test, which began today, will see the Mountain View, Calif.-based search behemoth insert more relevant and targeted video ads within several online publishers’ video content. According to Google officials, those test-participating sites can control which ads get streamed, as well as when and where they run.

The product is likely meant to serve as an alternative to pre-roll ads, which have emerged as the current online video ad standard despite some industry concerns about whether those ads suit the medium. A Google representative implied as much when detailing the new in-stream ads: “Publishers will now be able to insert high-quality, relevant in-stream ads that enhance their video content while maintaining a positive user experience.”

Google has not provided information on which publishers or advertisers are participating in the test, or how long it will run.

As with other AdSense ad products, Google will share any revenue with the publishers that opt to use the in-stream ads.

The new in-stream ads are not Google’s first experiment with video advertising, as it continues to tinker with online ad formats that go beyond its core text placements. Previously, the company has tested a click-to-play product that placed user-initiated video ads—sometimes packaged with short content clips—across sites on the AdSense network.