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Summary:

[qi:032] YouTube last night said it’s offering a new kind of embedded in-video advertising that’s going to help its parent company, Google (GOOG), and its media partners make money off what has thus far been a fallow field — online video. YouTube’s in-video advertising techniques have […]

[qi:032] YouTube last night said it’s offering a new kind of embedded in-video advertising that’s going to help its parent company, Google (GOOG), and its media partners make money off what has thus far been a fallow field — online video.

YouTube’s in-video advertising techniques have resulted in many pointing out that VideoEgg, a San Francisco-based startup that goes through identity changes more often The Talented Mr. Ripley has already offered these kinds of ads. (It’s a Facebook-ad network now!)

VideoEgg is “welcoming” YouTube to the party, pointing out that Google’s YouTube is imitating them. That’s nothing new, however. The text-links-as-ads were someone else’s idea, too, but Google ended up making billions off of it. Nevertheless, it is interesting to point out that the source of inspiration for the in-video ads of both VideoEgg and YouTube is actually a business they are both trying to take to the cleaners: broadcast and cable television.

If you watch baseball games on Fox or some of the cable networks like TBS, they use a technique (known as “snipes” in broadcast lingo) in which a promotional ad is overlaid on top of the regular broadcast stream. GE Co. (GE), parent of NBC, has a patent (United States Patent 20070143786) that talks about advertising based on this methodology.

A technique is provided for advertising. The technique includes a combining of two or more video streams to form a unified video stream and broadcasting the unified video stream. At least one of the two or more video streams is a program content stream comprising program content that is filmed by a camera and at least one of the two or more video streams is an advertisement material stream comprising advertisement material.

Does this patent apply to Internet video? I am not sure, but if it does – oh boy, have we got trouble. Wired News’ Epicenter blog also points to patents filed by VideoEgg. Interestingly, this whole issue might end up becoming a patent nightmare.

  1. Interesting… I also read that the links were about 80% transparent, and they show up in the bottom 20% of the video (from mashable).

    As long as they don’t take away one’s experience from watching a video, it’s all good. (Doubt that will happen, as ads are supposed to take away one’s experience).

    “If you watch baseball games on Fox or some of the cable networks like TBS, they use a technique (known as “snipes” in broadcast lingo) in which a promotional ad is overlaid on top of the regular broadcast stream.” – Mr. Malik.

    Yeah, when watching futbol (soccer), sometimes a huge soccer ball swings in the middle of the screen, and it shows an ad at the bottom. Kind of annoying, in my opinion.

    Anyways, we’ll see how this goes…

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  2. Google settled with Yahoo! over violations of patent 6,269,361 (text link ads) and issued Class A stock in 2004. Yahoo! cashed out its share (from GoTo/Overture) shortly after the GOOG IPO for hundreds of millions of dollars.

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  3. [...] where does that leave us? Maybe none of these startups did – Om says it all goes back to old school television. We’ll see if VideoEgg’s patent filing is [...]

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  4. Well put

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  5. The concept is hardly new though by definition execution technologies on broadband PC Web TV will be recent…but whats interesting is the only reason there is all this hoo-ha is because this is the format YouTube has gone with for Ads.

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  6. GE … has a patent

    No, GE has applied for a patent. Even if the patent is eventually granted, the surviving claim language may not preclude the specific claims made by VideoEgg. (Hard to tell since it appears the latter hasn’t yet been published.)

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  7. Hi Om! If memory serves me, networks like TBS and TNT started putting these types of ads at the bottom of their shows as a way to stop people who were taping movies (mostly), cutting out the regular commercials, and re-selling them. At the time, Turner was just starting to produce original films for its networks, as well as having made some very good deals for showing stuff like Star Wars and ET, and was very concerned about affecting piracy as much as it could.

    Curious how things have changed.

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  8. [...] the whole issue from Wired Epicenter, to NewTeeVee, and to round it out, CNet, Computer World, GigaOM, Techcrunch, Techdirt, and everyone else on the bandwagon. Heck even we mentioned it yesterday [...]

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  9. [...] interested in knowing the true origin of overlay ads, the Om in GigaOM has two words for you: broadcast television.) The only benefit to the dispute for us sideliners is to see geeks fight, and personally, that [...]

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  10. youre a patent nightmare….wait, what? google made a genius move buying youtube back in the day. doesnt google have a team of researchers and lawyers to figure this stuff out before they take any action?

    http://www.drunkenpanda.com

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