Facebook raids Ninemsn, gears up for mobile video in Australia

Facebook video advertising could arrive in weeks. In Australia the company has hired Karren Fisher, Channel Nine commercial manager at ninemsn, to sell the product to advertisers, AdNews understands.

Fisher is set to start at Facebook in late October, which suggests that the video service will roll out soon after. That would enable the company and brands to capitalise on the busy Christmas period when traditional TV inventory is at a premium.

Facebook has made no announcement yet on video but talk of its likely launch has continued since Bloomberg reported in July that the firm planned to sell video ads for up to USD$2.5m each. Reports of Facebook video ads first emerged last year.

Bloomberg also reported that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had again delayed the introduction of video ads in a bid to ensure users aren't turned off the service by disruptive advertising. Further delays could follow.

Media buyers locally have also expressed doubt about the suitability of 15 second pre-rolls, or reformatted TV ads working on the platform.

Facebook posted strong second quarter ad revenues in July. Ad revenue made up 88% of total revenues at USD$1.59 billion for up 61% from the previous corresponding period. Mobile ad revenues accounted for 41% of all ad revenues.

Update: This article originally stated that Fisher would be head of TV. Facebook has indicated that Fisher will be responsible for strategic partner development, reporting to Brent Annells who the company said is head of telco, tech and entertainment (as Adnews reported here: http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/ddb-s-annells-moves-to-facebook). Facebook said that remit includes TV.

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