Google will soon begin selling video advertisements on the web, opening a new front in its battle for a bigger slice of the online advertising market.
The ads will appear on sites that are part of Google's Adwords network, which includes partners like About.com and The New York Times, rather than on Google's own properties. They'll be offered first in the US, Canada and Japan, with other regions to follow shortly, the company said in its official AdWords blog on Monday.
Users will have the choice to click on the ads to start them playing, rather than having them launch automatically. Advertisers will bid to display their video ads alongside the existing text, Flash and image advertisements that Google sells today.
Video advertisements on the web aren't new, but the announcement has gained attention because of the massive audience Google commands. It's also in a pitched battle with online giants like Yahoo and Microsoft for a bigger share of the growing online advertising market.
The move comes less than a week after AOL announced that it would buy Lightningcast, which developed a system for inserting ads into online audio and video content and reporting on the performance of campaigns.