Microsoft announced that it will be rolling out a new version of its MSN video service across the entire MSN network and to Windows Live, the personalized home web page that users can create which includes instant messenger. Previously MSN Video, the video-on-demand channel featuring content from Reuters and others, was only offered on MSN's standalone vertical channels - e.g. finance, travel or autos.
This new version of MSN Video will incorporate Microsfots UGC (user-generated content) video channel - known as Soapbox and will also include videos from across the www. This new video service will also include 3 new video ad formats which Microsoft's hopes will help them increase their market share of online interactive revenues and caputure a part of what Microsoft Chiefs say is close to a $40 Billion online advertising opportunity.
The roll-out of the new MSN Video platform follows Google's recent You Tube announcement last month that it would be offering video YouTube's overlay ads.
Microsoft is able to due this in part because of the company's $6.5 billion acquisition of aQuantive, which was designed to take a share of what Microsoft chiefs say is a $40bn online advertising opportunity.
Video Ad Delivery:
Currently, MSN Video services offer a "unit-based" ad delivery system - This means that ads are served on first video watched and then every other video played so as to be less intrusive. However, they are also beta testing a "time-based" format which will serve ads at regular intervals while videos are played. Microsoft hopes that this time-based method will be even less intrusive and will be seen as less annoying by users.
Three video ad format options:
- Pre-rolls - ads that run before a user watches a piece of video content
- Large box ad that slides out of the side of the video player
- Smaller banner-style advert that drops down from the bottom of the video player