TV, online video ad buys approach convergence already enjoyed by end-users.

In the world of online buying of offline video ads, Google announced they’ve publicly released their experimental TV ad buying service. TV buying is now integrated with an advertiser’s existing AdWords buying interface, making buying as simple as they did when Google released their revolutionary radio media buying interface.

This is some significant competition for SpotRunner, whose sole purpose is to provide easy-to-use, small scale online TV buying in local markets.

I played with both and noticed one big difference: SpotRunner requires a $1,000 minimum buy, whereas AdWords appears to let you get by at just $150/day. You can get your feet wet with Google’s TV ad buying very, very cheaply. Of course, with both services you’ll still need to create an ad, but these days many savvy small business owners can just whip up something in iMovie.

Meanwhile, in the world of online buying of online video ads, the IAB finally released some up-to-date online video ad guidelines (pdf).

They’re boring to read and surely even more boring to implement, but this is important since finally we’ll have some sort of standardization for fledgling online ad formats like video overlays. I’m a big fan of video overlay ads — a 5-10 second animation on the lower fifth of an online video playback. Overlays combined with a 300×250 companion ad may prove to be a great online video monetization strategy. It punches through the ‘clutter’ of ads — the end-user notices the ad — but it doesn’t get in the way of viewing the desired content. A win, win?

The meta story here is that buying video ads is becoming standardized for online AND offline video content. We can talk all day about the convergence already taking place by end-users watching Lost and the Office on their computers. Now the über-important revenue stream — easy ad buying by the masses — is catching up to the convergence party.

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