Hate Internet pre-roll ads? Who doesn’t. The 30-second spot still lives on TV, but it doesn’t appear long for the Internet. Yesterday, NBC Universal became the first big-media player to limit the length of ads that run before online-video clips.
Starting July 1, advertisers will have to keep their spots to 15 seconds or less. The cap will apply to video ads across all NBC Universal’s Web properties, ranging from NBC.com to MSNBC.com. The company made one concession to its broadcast advertisers and will continue to run 30-second ads during full-length episodes of shows that also play online.
NBC’s decision comes as other Web publishers and content companies try to figure out what ads consumers will deem acceptable in the online world. Most of the talk has centered on ads that run right before video clips, referred to as “pre-roll” in industry jargon, and how long they should be.
Personally, I’m still hoping for something more imaginative than pre-roll ads, which I find really annoying (how about a still image before the video loads?). I’m not going to watch a 1 minute clip if I have to watch a 15-second pre-roll spot. But I probably would for a full episode of a popular 30-60 min show.