Five, the UK broadcast company, has taken the plunge into online ad-supported video for embedding on other websites. They are the first broadcaster in the country to do so and look to lead the way for catch-up viewing on the web.
Five has signed up Brightcove's video platform to take on the task of getting their full-length, ad-supported content out and embeddable on third-party websites. Viewers will even be able to share the video to 'their favourite places on the web' but further specifics weren't readily available on what sort of restrictions that would include.
Since Brightcove ties into a ton of advertisers and peripheral services, namely geo-targeting, they will be able to more accurately target consumers. The ads will be dropped into the stream, using cue-point targeting to monetize the content and provide further revenue streams for Five. Some episodes may reach up to 45 minutes in length so you can probably expect a similar number of ads and time of display as on television.
Perhaps Five will drive the industry as a whole to do this. It not only further expands the reach of their content but it also provides them with new revenue channels and possibilities. In fact, this is a project that perhaps Hulu should keep a very close eye on. With the amount of people outside of the US that want to watch their content they could quite possibly make a killing in the revenue department by coupling premium rates with geo-targeted ads. Of course this would be a drastic departure from their current mindset and business model and one wonders if they have enough vision to truly see the scope of potential in something like this. I guess only time will tell.
Also since Five is UK-based, this could make the BBC take another look at this sort of delivery and perhaps even a wide assortment of other broadcasters and cable companies like Sky will get in on it. This might simply take the war for viewer time to a new frontier and expand the battle for advertiser dollars to a worldwide audience instead of continuing to keep it locked into the airwaves, cable lines and satellites of the world.