September 13, 2007
Catching Up: Net Neutrality, Online Video Ads, and Nielsen

In my efforts to play a little catchup tonight with a week that has largely gotten away from me, I wanted to catch up on a few developments on stories the Consortium has followed quite regularly here on the blog.

First, there is network neutrality. The latest comes from the Justice Department, which has written to the Federal Communications Commission with official comments opposing net neutrality. While, at the time Ira Teinowitz wrote her piece for TelevisionWeek, the FCC had received almost 28,000 comments on the issue, most of which supported net neutrality being upheld, the Justice Department said that neutrality "could in fact prevent, rather than promote, optimal investment and innovation in the Internet." The comments have sparked some controversy, and it's not yet clear whether the pressure from the Justice Department will have a significant effect on the FCC's decision-making process.

See previous pieces about net neutrality from my writing here and here. Meanwhile, see Stephen J. Schultze's piece on net neutrality from Henry Jenkins' blog.

Joshua Green, our research manager here at the Consortium, brought a story to my attention which focused on YouTube's decision not to have pre-roll ads but an overlay instead. This piece, from Alan Schulman at MediaPost's Online Video Insider, argues that pre-roll ads could be acceptable if they were good and targeted. He writes, "This is not rocket science or brain surgery; it's just advertising. And if we're as good at entertaining consumers in :30 as we claim to be, then why can't we creatively show Google/YouTube what good creative looks like in a :10 unit -- and then see how that performs." Look here for more.

Finally, Nielsen has unrolled a new product. The service helps media buyers see where their spots ran and how many saw them with a one day turnaround, helping cut out the lag time for information to make its way back around to the media buyers and their clients in the traditional chain. The service is called KeepingTrac. More information is available from Jon Lafayette at TelevisionWeek. For more on Nielsen's changes in television measurement this year, look at previous posts here, here, here, and here.