Viewers to get choice of ads in video on Microsoft, Yahoo, Hulu sites

Microsoft, Yahoo and Hulu are hoping to find a little love from online video viewers starting next month, as well as maximizing their profits. That's when the three sites begin giving viewers their choice of what online video advertisements they have to sit through as they watch clips on the three sites.

"When you give people a choice they tend to love you because you're showing them respect," Beth Uyenco Shatto, global research director at Microsoft's ads unit, told Bloomberg. "If it wasn't for advertising they wouldn't be getting the content for free."

New research shows that viewers are twice as likely to click on an ad when they were given a choice as compared to when one was chose for them.

Online video advertising is expected to top $3.1 billion this year-a small portion of the forecast $61.8 billion online advertising industry this year-but it's the fastest growing segment of the industry, outpacing display advertising as well as search ads. Dubbed ASq, the new tool won't give viewers total control over what they see, but it's a start, and it could help give advertising the target audience they've been looking for, meaning more ad dollars for publishers.

Bloomberg said CBS.com, AOL.com, Discovery.com will also join the trial in September, adding that Google says it's studying the project.

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