Shaping Ads for Web-Connected TV

Technology companies racing to deliver video to the living room over the Web are exploring the idea of offering ads on their services, seeking to capture some of the billions of ad dollars that flow to television.

A few companies, including TiVo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), have released ad products tied to broadband-video services designed to be accessed on television sets, not computers. They include ads that can take a viewer to a movie trailer on YouTube when the viewer pauses a TiVo-recorded TV program, as well as ads that can be accessed by clicking a tile on the navigation menu of Xbox Live, the online gaming and video service for Microsoft’s Xbox game console.

Other efforts are also afoot. Google Inc. (GOOG) has been meeting with some of Madison Avenue’s biggest media-buying firms, exploring ways to sell ads through its Google TV software due out this fall. Sony Corp. (SNE) and other hardware makers are launching TVs and set-top boxes equipped with the software, which allows users to search and watch Internet programming.

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