ScanScout's Waikit Lau: Video ad money will follow the "torso"

John Shinal · February 5, 2008 · Short URL:

A big question being debated at the OnMedia conference in New York last week was just how much online video content will be attractive to advertisers.

During one panel, ScanScout founder and CEO Waikit Lau raised some eyebrows when he said that as much as 30% of the content on YouTube may ultimately be monetized.

His comment was met with some skepticism from the audience, given the preponderance of silly, bizarre and pirated clips now on the site, so we tracked Lau down afterward to get some more details.

It turns out that he was talking about the future, not the present.

While much has been made of the so-called "long tail" model made possible by the Internet, Lau, whose firm runs an online video ad network, sees the development of what he calls "the torso."

"More and more, we're seeing professionally produced content," Lau says.

As that type of content becomes a relatively larger slice of the overall online video pie, and the viewing experience for the consumer gets better, more advertising dollars will follow the medium, he predicts.

While the model for what types of ads will dominate in the online video realm, ScanScout is betting on a ribbon ad that crawls across the bottom of a clip, then telescopes out if the user clicks on it.

To learn more about his company, see his company profile and his video pitch here

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