Proving that the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) speaks on behalf of advertisers and not publishers, new IAB guidelines for video cap pre-roll ads at 30-seconds. While not saying that 30-seconds is optimum (that’s to come later), the IAB does green light the broadcast standard. Listen carefully, folks. Any publisher who runs 30-second ads before streaming video is a fool.

According to Online Media Daily, the guidelines also state that it is “recommended and acceptable” to give users the ability to fast-forward, rewind, pause, and zoom during the ads–but also state that the fast-forward button need not be enabled while the ad is playing.

“Giving end-users the ability to fast-forward through ads is an anomaly, and will probably stay that way,” Allen (Larry Allen, Unicast’s general manager and a member of IAB’s broadband committee) said. “Advertisers draw the line with [fast forwarding]; they insist on some kind of a tax for content.”
According the the people at MSN Video who I interviewed last year, 7–12 seconds is the optimum range for pre-roll ads, because users shut down the player beyond that. So why would the IAB give its blessing to 30-seconds? Because advertisers can’t come to grips with the reality that they aren’t calling the shots anymore.

That’s so 20th century.


  1. I thought I was imagining things then I saw the article that stated “30 secs would be the standard”. if the content is REALLY special, i do my best to hang thru a :15.….but NOT a :30

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