Now that the PBS Kids site PBSKids.org is generating more than 9 million unique video visitors each month, the public broadcaster is going to start pursuing online ad deals.
In addition, PBS is using its popular kids site to test new technologies for ad and game insertion, the broadcaster's SVP of interactive Jason Seiken told Beet.TV during a recent interview in San Francisco at the NewTeeVee Live event.
PBS has worked with video technology partner Panache to use its ad insertion capabilities to insert interactive games into online video from shows like the network's "WordGirl," he explained. When kids are watching the show, during breaks they can play games relating to the show. "We're taking what's been on our TV and making it available online and turning it into an interactive experience," he said. This approach has lead to a 10 times increase in video viewing, he said.
Now, the network has begun pursuing advertisers for its online properties. There's a delicate balance involved given PBS' position as a public entity, Seiken said. "We have certain restrictions around how it can be presented. It needs to be extremely tasteful, not a lot of animation, fitting with what you see on PBS and not interruptive," he said.
PBS is experimenting with what's known as mobile TV, which allows broadcasters to harness some of the digital spectrum and broadcast TV signals on mobile devices. PBS is currently participating in a pilot test in Washington DC and other markets.
The network's flagship show "NewsHour" has just recently merged offices with the digital team, as reported earlier this week in the New York Times.
Daisy Whitney, Senior Producer