Google has announced a closed beta test of Adsense for Video.
According to the post on Inside Adsense, Adsense for Video consists of “in-stream” advertisements. Publishers define at what point the advertisements will appear for each video.
It’s a change in the right direction for Google. The previously announced advertising trials for YouTube consisted entirely of text advertising overlays that lead to video-on-video click to play advertisements; a form of advertising that can easily be ignored by the viewer. Whilst many may find in-video style advertising annoying, it at least comes with a guarantee that viewers are going to see the advertisement.
Adsense for Video, as it is currently explained lacks contextual delivery. Allowing publishers to select where a video is played may empower content creators, but it does nothing in terms of automatically optimizing advertising for the viewer.
Google appears to be lagging in this market; the technology to contextually serve advertising within video is already available, ScanScout providing such a service. Given the massive market share Google holds in the online video hosting marketplace through YouTube, it would normally be expected that Google would be leading development in this field. For reasons unknown, they are not doing so.