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AdMob brings interactive video ads to iPhone

The mobile ad firm, poised to become part of Google, says the first ads for the iPhone and iPod Touch are set to run this week.

While it's waiting to be gobbled up by Google, AdMob isn't sitting still.

The mobile ad company announced Tuesday that it will deliver interactive video ads to the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The ads, set to run this week, will let iPhone users surf the Web and check out other videos while the video ad is playing. AdMob believes advertisers and developers will take advantage of the video format by serving up interactive ads designed to pull in consumers.

"AdMob's new Interactive Video Ad Unit brings together consumers' love of watching videos on their mobile device with advertisers' goal of providing an interactive, social experience for consumers," said AdMob Founder and CEO Omar Hamoui in a statement. "We are excited to create new ways for advertisers to engage with consumers on their mobile devices and for the developers behind the most popular and engaging iPhone applications to effectively monetize."

The video ads will automatically pop up as iPhone users access certain content and applications. The ads will also offer a video player so that people can control and interact with them. To make sure the ads run at a decent clip, AdMob uses a network of distributed servers to push them out. Each video is saved in different file sizes, with the most appropriate one streamed based on the connection type, such as 3G or Wi-Fi.

AdMob is one of the top advertising providers for the handheld and portable device market, a position that convinced Google to cough up $750 million in stock to buy out the company. With its multimedia capabilities and huge market share, the iPhone has proven a fertile ground for video ads, with the first ones popping up in early 2008 and growing since then.