Companies race to deliver ads via streaming video

Streaming video is the hottest trend these days-- ust ask the 30 percent of Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) users aged 18-24 who have ditched their cable in favor of Netflix's streaming video service. Not surprisingly, technology companies are exploring ways to offer ads on their services and grab some of the billions of dollars that are spent on TV advertising.

TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) have created ad products tied to broadband video services that are designed to be accessed via the TV, not PC. They include ads that can take a viewer to a movie trailer on YouTube when the viewer pauses a TiVo-recorded TV program, as well as ads that can be accessed by clicking a tile on the navigation menu of Xbox Live, the online gaming and video service for Microsoft's Xbox game console.

Other efforts are also afoot. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is exploring ways to sell ads on its Google TV service and consumer electronics firms are beginning to introduce TVs and set-top boxes allowing viewers to search and the Internet. 

But it's going to take awhile for Google to get its act together on the ad front, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company has told media-buying executives it doesn't plan to put ads on its service for at least a year. A Google spokesman said the company has been approached by advertisers about Google TV, but it is "solely focused on launching a quality experience for users, and does not have any specific plans for advertising" at this time.

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