Video, Advertising, and Online

Why were video downloads available at first online for only $1.99 and not free, through some ad-supported model? One ad exec thinks its just a sign of how fast things are moving online.

I chatted with Tracey Scheppach, an exec at the ad agency Starcom who's in charge of figuring out how to advertise on all this new digital video online, on cell phones, on cable video on demand.

So how fast is this digital video world moving? Here's one example. Scheppach was surprised that, when Apple first announced video downloads on iTunes, the only option for making money on downloads was by selling.

I was kind of perplexed by this too. And so was Fred Wilson! Why not offer the option of either buying an ad free copy of Lost for $1.99 or a free copy that's chock full of ads?

Her take? That the deal to do downloads was done so quickly that they couldn't put in place a way to do ads. But now, companies, including Disney are starting to offer ad-supported, free downloads.

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