The Publisher Opportunity With Native Video And Outstream Ad Products

on Native Video, The Future Of Publishing

Over half of all online video views now take place on mobile devices. To capitalize on this, publishers need to implement video monetization strategies that resonate with their audience or risk falling behind in one of digital advertising’s fastest growing markets.

In 2016, Facebook is expected to sell over $700 million worth of mobile video ads, 100% of which will come from "native video" ad products like in-feed video ads. For anyone who has been in digital advertising for a while, it is jaw-dropping that a sizable amount of that $700 million revenue figure will come from 'autoplay' video ads. Instagram, Twitter, and now Pinterest, are all following suit with their own in-feed autoplay video strategies.

Publishers, it's time to get moving.

The newness of native video, combined with its explosive growth, has left the industry scrambling for some standards. To help bring more clarity and structure to the new video landscape, the IAB recently released a new glossary that defines what exactly native video is for the first time.

Defining Native Video

Traditionally, video ads have been delivered by way of pre-roll, defined as in-stream video. In-stream video refers to an ad that is attached to other video content. What makes native video unique, is that the video ad stands on its own and is the content itself. This form of delivery is loosely being called 'outstream' video. Outstream video has taken on two main forms: Native Video and In-Article.

Before we look at the difference of both, it’s important to understand how native video in general is defined. According to the IAB, native video is defined as:

A promoted video within one of the six IAB native core ads (i.e., in-feed unit, paid search unit, recommendation widget, promoted listing, in-ad (IAB standard) with native elements, or custom/can’t be contained). The video includes headline, description and context for the ad.

Now, let’s make a deeper inspection of the two forms of native video to help you as a publisher decide which is best for you, and what might help promote a better user experience for your audience and help deliver higher user retention.

In-Feed Editorial video is distributed most commonly within feeds, and is often accompanied by a headline, description and logo. When scrolling through the feed, it will automatically start playing once in view.

In-Article videos load and play dynamically between paragraphs of editorial content, existing as a standalone branded message. Also an autoplay unit, the ad begins playing once it is in view.

With that said, you can see the difference between the two outstream native video units. One is accompanied with more context; the headline, description and logo, while the other is just stand alone video content.

But why does context matter? Research from the Nielsen Neuroscience Lab and Facebook shows that native ad headlines provide consumers with deeper context for an ad, which lead them to get the brand impact faster. Faster impact is more valuable to advertisers and thus provides higher value to publishers.

Choosing The Right Outstream Video Product

While native video is still in it’s infancy, publishers must decide on a video strategy that best suits the needs of their audience. With people consuming more and more content through mobile devices, publishers have responded by changing the layout of their sites to be more responsive to in-feed formats. In-Feed Editorial formats are designed to act as content, and are accepted as such. Ultimately, there is very little user interruption. If they are interested in the headline or autoplaying content, they can choose to engage. Here at Sharethrough, we are finding that more users are engaging with brand content after the video starts playing than when not, a direct sign that they value this kind of format.

In-Article video lacks associated brand headlines or context, which makes it more similar to the pre-roll experience. In-article video ads appear amid the article the consumer had intended to read, similarly to how they appear before a video in pre-roll, which can cause a negative surprise. This format tends to be a little more disruptive to the user, and over time may see similar problems as pre-roll or banner blindness. Pre-roll video has proven to be 82% less effective for brand lift than native video.

As a publisher, user retention and growth is the foundation of effective ad monetization. As your focus turns to video, it is important to understand the positive and negative implications that your native video placements can have. In the end, less disruption coupled with higher performance and engagement is the right choice to make.

To learn more about how Sharethrough can help you strategically select the right approach to native video, sign up for our customized workshop here.