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Publishers look to monetize mobile video in HTML5 environment

The arrival of HTML5 signals new opportunities for content owners to monetize mobile video, according to a video advertising executive.

The decision by Apple to not enable Adobe Flash on its suite of mobile offerings, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, caused some consternation among Web video services that relied on the technology. However, HTML5 allows videos to run without the use of plug-ins such as Flash, opening up a whole new world for video advertisers and giving content owners a new channel for monetizing their content in Apple products and other Web-enabled mobile devices.

?We believe in people spending money on ads in the video space,? said Jayant Kadambi, cofounder and president of YuMe, San Francisco. ?HTML5 Web sites are places where we see videos getting used at some scale.

?So the idea for our publisher base is that we?re running and monetizing videos, giving them software and technology to help monetize content when the video runs in the HTML5 environment,? he said. ?The iPad is a decent, if not great, environment to watch high-quality video in a predominantly HTML5 environment."

YuMe?s Adaptive Campaign Engine advertising platform is used by publishers such as MSN, NBC and Fox News to monetize video content on their PC and mobile Web sites.

New frontier for Web video
Mobile video is quickly becoming a hot commodity for advertisers and publishers.

To illustrate this, The Nielsen Co. estimated that there are 20 million mobile video users currently, and they watch, on average, 3.5 hours of video each month on their handheld devices.

The release of mobile technology such as the iPad and iPod touch has meant that mobile advertising needs to shift gears and focus not only on phones, but on other Web-enabled mobile devices (see story).

Publishers have been flocking to the iPad in droves, hoping to take advantage of the high-resolution display and larger touch screen to create more engaging branded experiences.

?Publishers are generally trying to move their videos into different environments,? Mr. Kadambi said. ?In this case, with HTML5, because of the huge fuss created by Apple, selling so many iPads so quickly, people are starting to look into putting their content there and serving ads into it.?

Additionally, advertisers such as SyFy (see story) have already taken advantage of HTML5 to serve advanced ad units, signaling the monetization potential the new standard creates.

YuMe recently upgraded its ACE video advertising platform to let participating publishers monetize video viewed on HTML5-compatible handhelds, including Apple and Android mobile devices.

Publishers can now equip their HTML5 video players with a plug-in that will serve pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll ad units from the YuMe network.

HTML5 supports a standard set of metrics and lets publishers track which devices their ads are serving on, something the YuMe platform is taking advantage of.

In addition, the platform lets publishers manage any number of syndication partners and supports a variety of viewing environments, per YuMe.

?The issue publishers have is they have a bunch of videos, and they?re looking for additional eyeballs or views on their Web sites,? Mr. Kadambi said. ?A publisher has made a piece of content and put it on its Web site, where a bunch of people are seeing it, but they decide they still need more eyeballs.

?They can let it be embeddable and syndicate it and make money there,? he said.

Now, with HTML5, that monetization can be extended to Apple devices.

?We are continuing to see content owners extend the distribution of content,? Mr. Kadambi said. ?Even in one of the worst economic times at least most of us have seen, our company has grown six-and-a-half, seven times from an ad perspective last year, and we?re doubling or tripling this year.

?It?s a sign that advertising, online and mobile, is growing like mad,? he said. ?That?s a reflection of the way content owners are distributing content in the online space.

?People are watching videos all over the place.?

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer, New York