Video ad tech provider YuMe has introduced a new ad unit for connected TVs dubbed "Click to Ngage." Simon Hayhurst, SVP of Product Management at YuMe, told me yesterday that the new ad unit is meant to give advertisers a way to extend their creativity beyond typical 30-second pre-rolls into more of an immersive "mini-site" type of format.
As the examples in this gallery demonstrate, the idea is for the viewer to first see a banner ad in one of the Smart TV manufacturer's navigation screens, which, when clicked on, triggers a video ad. When the ad ends, a series of customizable tabs appears which prompt the user for further engagement. These can include additional videos, news, and other assets. One limitation of the Smart TV platforms for now, is an inability to transact (so say you see the ad for a movie, you wouldn't be able to then purchase a ticket as well).
The "Click to Ngage" ad unit is YuMe's latest foray into connected TV monetization. The company has released 2 research studies in the past 6 months (results here and here) revealing consumer interest in connected TVs and preferences for free, ad-supported content. Still, as Simon noted, ads on connected TVs are an emerging sector, with pricing models still in flux. Some buyers already recognize its role and are able to place a value on it, whereas others are still earlier stage and view it as more of an experimental buy.
(Note: YuMe is a VideoNuze sponsor)