ESPN launches 360 online ad platform

Move will give advertisers more flexibility, company says

ESPN has launched an online video ad platform for its proprietary broadband network that the company said will provide advertisers more flexibility along with richer reporting for Web video campaigns.

The new ad product is being rolled out during ESPN's College Basketball's Championship Week, which began Friday, during which will stream at least 124 men's and women's games. Primarily, the new platform offers dynamic ad insertion within live video, said ESPN officials. That means that rather than manually inserting commercials into live games shown on, the process is better automated, allowing the network to swap in different sets of advertisers, run more varied ads in a larger number of ad pods and provide brands the ability to employ more precise commercial flighting.

Plus, according to ESPN, advertisers will receive more detailed reports on how often their ads are streamed during live games and by how many users. The dynamic ads also can be clickable, potentially allowing for more interactivity, said officials.