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The future of video advertising has been getting a lot of press lately. Whether it’s the Google/YouTube copyright issue, NBC & News Corp’s YouTube-rebuttal venture, Google’s plan to serve video advertising through Echostar, or the more general question of: how will video advertising be monetized on the web? Is video pre-roll the answer?

Many of these headlines are startling – especially to traditional media content providers who have every right to protect their content.

While there are several important questions that haven’t been answered yet about the future of video, we are simply experiencing a changing of the guard, similar to the iTunes revolution – only on a much bigger scale. As Video becomes digitized among in the mass market, both consumers and content providers will benefit from much needed improvement.

The controversy over google’s acquisition of YouTube and it’s plans to serve contextually based video ads are shortsighted and irrelevant to the long-term future of video. Before long, home video will be searchable, on-demand, and infinitely more controllable for the consumer. Broadcast and cable networks are scared now because their business models are becoming obsolete. More importantly, there is no definitive answer for what the next 5-10 years will bring to the medium. They will still be able to support their content through advertising though – it will be most likely be through highly targeted, opt-in, and interactive ads.

It is VERY likely that Google and other technology providers will create new applications that revolutionize video consumption. It’s hard to even imagine what the medium will look like or become but I guarantee that it will be infinitely improved if not awesome. At CES, I caught a glimpse of what the future of video might bring in a demonstration of AOL’s broadband video (via television screen).

It’s hard to imagine many of these future technologies now but one might predict an increasingly rapid evolution over the next 5 years. To get another idea of what Google has in mind, here is what Eric Schmidt said in an interview last year:

There will be a focus on using broadcast viewing to automatically present relevant information on a web browser…The system could keep up with users while they channel surf, presenting them with a real-time forum about a live political debate one minute and an ad-hoc chat room for a sporting event in the next. And, all of this would be done without users ever having to type or to even know the name of the program or channel being viewed.

Taking this further, we could collect snippets from the web describing the actors appearing in a movie or present maps of locales within the movie as it takes place (no matter if users are watching it as a live broadcast or as a recoded broadcast).

I have a feeling that Google has some killer app(s) up it’s sleeve that will make today’s online video controversies seem silly.

[tags] google video, echostar, future of television, nbc, news corp., pre-roll, media, marketing.fm, video advertising, marketing blogs [/tags]