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Google testing ads on for-pay video

Google Video users can now choose to watch an ad in lieu of paying for some premium content.

Google is offering Google Video users the ability to watch an ad instead of paying for some premium content, the company said Thursday.

Google is running a pilot program to test ad-supported videos for premium content on Google Video."

"By placing these user-initiated ads at the end of the videos...we are able to offer select premium content free of charge to all users," Google said. "This is currently a limited test only, with a small number of advertisers and publishers (video content providers) participating. User-generated video content will continue to be free of charge and ad-free."

Though the ad is shown only after the video is played, an ad banner is displayed above the video during the time the video is streaming.

Greg Sterling, founder of Sterling Market Intelligence, speculated that the test was being conducted, at least in part, because of lower demand for paid content than the free video.

"This starts to turn Google into something like an on-demand TV network with traditional, TV-style ads. How will Google navigate these waters with traditional TV content producers?" he wrote in a blog.