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ITV is trialling technology to allow advertisers to insert logos within video footage - in empty spaces such as sky, walls or fences.

The technology, provided by Californian firm Keystream, uses object and motion detection to search for suitable spaces to display the ads within video footage. It is currently being trialled within user-generated clips on the ITV Local website.

The image or logo appears in the blank space and animates and creates a click-through if a mouse hovers over it. Viewers can then click to get more information at which point the video pauses until they return to it.

The increasing use of set-top boxes for watching old school TV means advertising revenues are under threat. Online video is also searching for better ways to make money out of viewers than topping and tailing clips with adverts. Eric Schmidt said earlier this year that finding a way to make money out of YouTube is still a priority, and concern, for Google.

Simon Fell, head of future technology at ITV, told the Times: “There’s a lot of potential. If there’s a scene in a programme where there’s time, then it could give us a chance to get an ad away. But obviously on television you won’t be seeing one of these appearing at a crunch point in a drama.

“We’re trialling it online, where it’s a manageable area and allows us to get feedback from both advertisers and viewers. It gives us another tool in the arsenal, and it’s subtle.”

A spokeswoman for ITV was at pains to point out that there are no plans to transfer the technology to broadcast TV.

She said: "This is a very small, three month trial and is definitely not being transferred onto TV. The trial has just started and is for user generated content only."

That's alright then. ®

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