Advertising on TV is passé – now Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is taking to targeting online video viewers instead. The company announced that it will start placing advertisements from merchants on both its shopping platforms, Taobao and Tmall, within online videos on a handful of video sites, as it seeks to capture audiences who are increasingly consuming content on their mobile devices and PCs.

The online video sites that Alibaba has tied up with include top site Youku Tudou, which is often viewed as a Chinese version of YouTube. It comes after Alibaba sunk $1.2 billion into it last month. Starting next month, Taobao and Tmall retailers can bid for space in popular online videos through Alibaba’s online marketing platform, Alimama. They can choose to place either static images or video spots for their advertisements.

Zheng Rongqing, a senior director of Alimama, said in a statement that this move will help retailers better target users in lower-tiered cities, who may not even own a TV, but are consuming content entirely online. This will in turn help Alibaba reach more potential online shoppers, which would be nothing but positive for its growth prospects in the lead-up to its hotly-anticipated US IPO.

➤ Alibaba Group To Debut Display Marketing For Online Video [Alibaba Blog]

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