Amir Ashkenazi, one of the founders of which was sold to eBay, has just launched  It is a new kind of advertising network that places advertising on video clips in the form of contextual overlay advertising.  These are not video ads inserted before of in the clips, but they are horizontal banners much like promotional ads on the bottom of TV screens.

These ads are linked to relevant clips.  Amir says the company has developed a sophisticated search and insertion platform. The ads can be clicked to a sponsor’s ad or offering.  I understand that a second browser opens up and a viewer can go back to watch the clip.  These ads will be placed today on a substantial number of clips on Metacafe, the video sharing site. Here’s how an ad for Frommer’s Guide to Paris looks on a Metacafe clip:

Google Video had experimented with with these overlay ads for some time, notably a horizontal advertising banner for HP which was stationary on Charlie Rose segments.

Looks like this could be a new ad format for YouTube. My eagle-eyed colleague Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee found overlay ads on YouTube. Which is here:


Amir visited the Beet.TV studios last week.  He explains this to us in this interview.

Let’s keep an eye on this development in online video advertising.  It might just work.

Speaking about online video and contextual advertising, you should read The New York Times story about watching ads on Joost by Louise Story.  She writes about how specific ads are served to different subscribers depending on demographic information.

— Andy Plesser

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