Let’s look at some of the developments in the online video sector that recently went down.
YouTube partners with Paramount Pictures
Google’s YouTube entered a deal with Paramount Pictures, bringing their media library to nearly 9,000 titles. Some of Paramount’s movies can now be rented at YouTube and Google Play for Android smartphones and tablets. Rental fees are somewhere between $2 and $4, and customers have 30 days to watch the movie they rented. But upon viewing, they only have 24 hours to finish watching it.
“Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movie studios on the planet,” Malik Ducard, YouTube’s director of content partnerships, said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re thrilled to bring nearly 500 of their movies in the U.S. and Canada on YouTube and Google Play.”
Paramount is the fifth major Hollywood studio that struck a deal with YouTube. Paramount joins NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney and many independent studios in bringing full-length movies to more the popular video-sharing network.
The Paramount deal was a bit of a surprise as their parent company, Viacom Inc., is in legal dispute with YouTube. Though the court sided with YouTube in 2010, Viacom is said to be appealing the decision for the privacy case they filed back in 2007.
HIRO Media to expand in the US
HIRO Media, global leader in video advertising management and optimization technology, announced the closing of a $5 million round of funding which will be used to open a New York Center of Development and Support to serve their US customers, which will be managed by recently hired Jim Mazzarella.
“It has been a pivotal year for HIRO Media as we ended 2011 on a profitable note,” said Ariel Napchi, CEO of HIRO Media. “This growth reflects the fact that we are able to provide superior video advertising solutions for online video advertisers and the sector’s realization that this is an expanding market. To take advantage of this rapid growth and to extend our presence in the US, it became clear that we needed to raise additional investment.”
SpotXchange offers better viewing experience with SkipIt
SpotXchange, Inc., the global marketplace of video ad inventory, unveiled SkipIt – a new service that allows consumers to control their online video ad experience by providing them the option of skipping online video ads when they want to.
SkipIt aims to address high abandonment rates in online video advertising, as well as create a balance between publishers, advertisers and consumers. The development of the service was based on SpotXchange’s survey which identified that 30% of the survey respondents would agree to pay if it would remove online video ads.
“When 10 – 40% of online video ads are abandoned, some consumers are sending a clear signal to the market. The online video advertising industry is shifting beyond the TV model of forcing users to watch video ads. We’re introducing SkipIt to provide a viable solution for consumers demanding choice and a better online experience,” said Michael Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange. “The industry has long needed a solution that places control in the hands of the consumers while delivering value to both online video publishers and advertisers. SkipIt is the service that truly levels the playing field for everyone involved.”
SkipIt will not affect the revenue of advertisers and publishers, even if every viewer out there used its tool. When a consumer sees the SkipIt invite on an online video ad and click on it, they’ll be charged with a small fee, which will be used to pay the publisher and the advertiser will be credited for the skip – it will appear that the ad was viewed, not skipped. Consumers can use Facebook, Twitter, or Google, or signing in on SkipIt.com to skip a video or earn SkipIt credits.