From an email sent by Google PR to me today:
Today website content is much more than just text – it’s also video. As the importance of online video increases, we think it’s important to deliver users relevant video ads, give advertisers a new way to reach customers online and help publishers earn additional revenue from their video content. Starting today we will begin an in-stream video ads test with a small group of US publishers and advertisers to help us learn the easiest and most scalable way to deliver ads to online video content.
Publishers will now be able to insert high quality, relevant in-stream ads that enhance their video content while maintaining a positive user experience. It also provides broader distribution for participating publishers, and an effective way for advertisers to reach their target customers with rich, engaging messaging. This test represents our continued efforts to address the challenges faced by publishers who want to monetize their video content, by advertisers who want access to quality video inventory, and finally by users who want ads to enhance their video watching experience, not detract from it.
The test will run on participating sites throughout the network.
As with current AdSense publishers, revenue will be split between the website publisher and Google. The exact revenue share is not being disclosed.
The advertisements will play on the publishers’ Flash players, not on YouTube or Google Video hosted videos.
Publishers can select which videos to monetize and track their performance using AdSense. They can also choose where the ads will appear within the videos.
Ad creatives, which can be no longer than 30 seconds, can be made skippable for users.