August 12, 2010, 4:17 PM

YuMe rolls out ad platform for HTML5 videos

YuMe provides a free HTML5 video player to publishers and shares ad revenue with them.

YuMe, a provider of video-based advertising technology and a video ad network of more than 1,000 web sites, has updated its ACE video advertising platform to let publishers insert ads into video content viewed on mobile devices and personal computers with HTML5-compatible operating systems.

The platform provides for several forms of video ads, including pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads that run before, during and after a video plays; it also supports advertising logos that appear at the top of the video screen that consumers can click to see an ad.

Jayant Kadambi, founder and president of YuMe, says he expects the new advertising options will help spur broader use of HTML5 as publishers realize it can produce new revenue. HTML5, a newly developed derivative of the common HTML web content mark-up language, supports among other things the embedding of video players without the need of browser plug-ins like Adobe Flash  or Microsoft Silverlight

“The uptake of HTML5-based video is still a little slow, but we’re telling content providers they can start hitting the accelerator and putting video content in the HTML5 format because they can make money with it through advertising,” Kadambi says.

YuMe has also been building up its network of video publishing web sites on which advertisers can run video-based ads. This year, YuMe’s network includes about 1,000 web site URLs from 600 participating publishers, up from 200 publishers last year and 100 in 2008, Kadambi says. “The video business is good,” he adds.

Kadambi notes that YuMe does not promote one video publishing format over another, and that its ACE platform supports Flash and other video formats as well as HTML5. “We provide a technology platform for users looking to monetize their video inventory regardless of the format,” he says.

YuMe has not said how many online video publishers or advertisers have signed up for the HTML5 service, which the company introduced Aug. 5. To build a base of users, YuMe is making its HTML5 software code available for free to publishers. “We stick the code on their web servers, then they can log in through their browser to manage HTML5 videos and related ad content,” Kadambi says.

YuMe collects fees from the advertisers and shares the revenue with publishers. Fees are typically based on the CPM model, or cost per thousand impressions. Most video ads in the pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll format run for 15 seconds.

While HTML5 is still in its early stages of development under the guidance of the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, it promises to improve the functionality of video and other forms of web content as it matures, experts say.

“The goal of HTML5 is to offer standard tags and standard application programming interfaces that make it possible to build cross-platform experiences,” says Melissa Webster, program vice president, content and digital medial technologies, at research firm IDC. “It will be a beautiful thing to have cross-platform compatibility, and even a standard video format,” she adds, so that companies can develop video content once and distribute it across multiple operating systems for a common viewing experience.  

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