The official AdSense blog has just put up a post announcing the Introduction of video ads to publishers (they announced it to advertisers yesterday – why they don’t do simultaneous announcements I’m unsure).
They clarify a few points (most of which we’d guessed to be true):
“Video ads will compete in the same auction as text and image ads for placement on your site, and as we’ve mentioned before, increased competition in the ad auction means increased revenue potential for you. Video ads open your site up to a whole new type of advertising that is engaging and highly relevant for your users.”
They go on to write that there are no ways to make these ads appear but that you can increase your chances by opting into image ads and using one of the rectangle formats (300×250, 336×280, or 250×250) which are the only ones that video will show on.
I am disappointed that there is no apparent way to opt out of video ads without also opting out of image ads. While in many ways they are similar in appearance (remember the videos don’t play until your reader clicks them) I think the video ads will be more distracting and disruptive to a site than a static image ad and as a result they won’t suit all sites.