Is 30 seconds of your time worth a dime? SpotXchange thinks so. The online video ad firm has unveiled SkipIt, a membership micropayments service that lets web viewers chip in 10 cents or less to skip over a video ad.

Publishers still get paid, an amount SkipIt said is typically a higher CPM than if they had actually run the video ad.  Advertisers get credited for each skipped impression and can expect better performance on the video ads viewers do choose to watch, the company said.

SpotXchange said online video ads have an abandonment rate of between 16-37 percent, which shows how much viewers don’t like sitting through random ads. It also wastes advertiser’s money, since in effect they’re paying to irritate consumers.

According to SpotXchange CEO Mike Shehan, advertisers don’t like forced viewing either. “If someone is a good match and they are willing to watch the ad, then great. That’s an impression they are willing to pay handsomely for,” he wrote in an open letter. “But if the consumer is so annoyed that they are willing to pay to skip, then they don’t want to risk the negative brand equity associated with forcing the user to watch the ad.”

Shehan said the SkipIt invitation to skip the playing ad is already presented to users more than 20 million times a day on many different websites. Among the publishers and partners that have signed on so far are FilmAnnex, Happy Tree Friends, IDG TechNetwork, CineSport, OneScreen, and several Meredith Corp. sites like Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle.

Users get five free skips when they sign up with SkipIt and get another free skip for each dollar they put in their account, with each skip otherwise costing 10 cents.

Other companies are working on ways to improve content monetization using video ads too. For example, Solve Media offers Pre-Roll Insurance, which credits advertisers when viewers answer a question to skip an ad. Publicis VivaKi has The Pool, a more complicated system in which viewers choose which ad to watch.

Related links:

SpotXchange blog – Introducing…SkipIt!!!

SpotXchange blog – open letter from CEO Mike Shehan

Photo by Flickr user 401K, used under Creative Commons license


    • FYI for any unfamiliar readers – Solve Media lets viewers skip ads by typing in a slogan or whatever the advertiser chooses into a box, like a captcha. Here’s an AdWeek article about it: