Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Death to the Preroll? One Can Dream.

Well, it is about time, I’d say.


That would be that ads will start to be put into YouTube videos rather than nearby on the site. Called InVideo ads, they will be semi-see-through “overlays” that will go over part of professionally made content (and in some user-generated videos).

There will, of course, be ad-revenue sharing with partners, although it is not clear if enough professional content is on YouTube yet to make a giant business.

It is not a particularly innovative move on the part of Google, which bought YouTube for $1.65 billion last year and also bought a lot of copyright-infringement trouble, too. Several other online video companies like VideoEgg have been trying out similar solutions recently.

But Google’s move will obviously have reverberations, as YouTube is the most popular online video destination, with users who spend a lot of time on the site. Google is already dominant in the online search-ad market and can easily move markets to change past practices in new arenas.

That might include killing off the horrid reliance on prerolls, 15-second ads that precede a video that most consumers despise.


And, for that alone, we salute Google, VideoEgg and anyone else who can come up with different video ad solutions that work. Until then, the explosion of online video–which is the really key trend on the Web now–could become the most popular application and also the biggest money pit.

Now that the video ads are rolling, I am sure the same content providers YouTube is trying to make ad revenues with might look forward to that supposed “fingerprinting” technology designed to thwart copyright infringement on sites like, well, YouTube.

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google (owner of YouTube).