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Summary:

Video site Blip is looking to increase the ad load on the content it’s hosting by making advertising mandatory. The changes are going in effect early next month.

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Video hosting site Blip has come up with a new way to make more money with advertising: The site, which has been specializing on web-exclusive serialized content, is going to turn on preroll advertising by default for all of the content hosted on its site in early April. Blip shares its ad revenue 50/50 with publishers.

Publishers will have an opportunity to opt out of ads for up to five videos in order to keep short clips and trailers ad-free, but after that, all fo their videos will be preceded by preroll ads. The changes were announced a few days ago in an email to producers that read, in part:

“Blip’s mission is to be the place to discover the best in original web series. We support this mission by selling advertising against the content that you, the Blip Producer community, create and upload. The technology and bandwidth required to deliver your shows to a wide audience is paid for by advertising, similar to television.”

Blip's previous ad policy: prerolls were entirely voluntary.

Blip’s previous ad policy: prerolls were entirely voluntary (click for a full-size view).

That’s a notable change from Blip’s previous take on advertising. The company described its advertising program in the past as “entirely voluntary,” noting on a still-active support page that producers “can use almost all Blip services without accepting advertising.”

The email now sent out to Blip’s producers tries to quell fears that ads could drive audiences away:

“We know that for some long-time Blip producers running advertising on your content will be unsettling. Rest assured that all of the available data in the market shows that audiences have become acclimated to pre-roll ads. In many cases, a prominent brand in front of an episode actually increases the perceived value of the show.”

Blip started out as a video hosting site that competed directly with YouTube, and changed its course two years ago to focus exclusively on serialized content made for the web. The company distributes content to a variety of platforms, and opened a studio in Los Angeles to produce its own content last summer.

  1. This is one to watch.

    Blip is right to claim that users are now more accustomed to pre-roll ads. But while they’ll put up with them, it doesn’t mean they’ve stopped hating it.

    A strategy like this leaves the door wide open for start-ups to offer a much nicer user experience, methinks.

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  2. Bloody shame and breach off contract of venture capitalists and share holder of Blip so it seems. Maybe the producers have to see how this works out legally. Never asked them for money and don’t need their poor gesture.

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  3. Morons. Why don’t the let users just pay a fee so their videos don’t have ads? Wonder what genius rolled this out without a way for business to show corporate videos with no ads? Moving our account to Vimeo. $199 a year. No ads. If Blip.tv had that option, I’d stay. Once I take the time to move my videos… I’ll never be back.

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    1. We’ll it turns out Vimeo doesn’t have a commercial free option. I am posting this because my earlier understanding was that they did and that’s why I wrote the comment above. Brightcove can do it, but it’s much cheaper to use VPS at your website host provider and host you own video there.

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  4. My favorite movie critics all use Blip to host their reviews. My browser used to be able to block out advertisements, but Blip’s new system has foiled that. In retaliation for my attempt to block said ads, I’m forced to watch 90 seconds of a screen that says “Oops, you’re using blocking software!” The alternative is to disable my ad-blocking and watch 30 seconds of Disney spam. Screw that.

    As a silent protest I’ve simply stopped watching. I can only hope (like Andrew put forward) that a start-up comes along and pulls the rug out from under Blip.

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  5. So much for the now-broken promise that two of the founders blip gave to me that they would always provide an opt-out opt-in choice for advertising.

    John Leeke

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  6. Wendi Friesen Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    I have 350 videos on blip, they are embedded in my sales pages, in programs that people purchase, on 1000s of page and newsletters, blogs, etc.
    Now with ads, it is a serious problem. To try to move and replace the places where all of these videos are embedded will be a nightmare. And the ad they are running that I have seen is offensive to viewers with a naked ass in a thong panty. I believe that reflects on my business when someone comes to my site.
    I have been on blip for over 6 years, paid for a pro account, and also offered to pay for a no ad option. All they said is that they are closing my channel and removing all my videos on July 15th.
    Is anyone taking legal action, trying to stop this?

    Wendi Friesen
    Wendi.com

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