Recode has an (anonymously sourced) story that Facebook is apparently to begin trialling midroll ads in videos uploaded to the site, intending to split revenues 55-45 with their users. Midroll ads are already available as part of Facebook’s live video offering, but this would be the first time producers would be able to monetise their pre-recorded videos in this way.
Publishers would apparently have the option of allowing ads to show after at least 20 seconds of their video being played, and only in videos that last for at least 90 seconds. Presumably the thinking is that that’s long enough to pique a viewer’s attention after which they’ll be happy to have a short hiatus before watching the rest. We’ve had a lot of discussions here at Newsshooter about the pros and cons of pre-roll ads, so it will be interesting to see if this different format ends up being more popular with viewers.
Midroll might lend itself more easily to integrating the ad into the rest of the programming – so for Newsshooter it could mean having a more distinct introduction, cutting to an ad and then resuming the video. This is much more like how we’re used to watching ads on TV, so it might feel more acceptable to audiences who have grown up on a diet of broadcast programming. And for advertisers there’s an increased probability that the person viewing your message is in fact a person and not a bot.
No word on how much control the publisher might have over whose ads are shown in the middle of their videos – but as the industry is largely programmatically driven it could be difficult for publishers to avoid ads they think of as unsuitable, without being able to develop a relationship directly with Facebook.
Ultimately this is one story from an anonymous source, but after a lot of recent focus on video from Facebook it makes a lot of sense for the company to try and make money from the video inventory they’ve managed to build up.
And for anyone who has spent time and effort building up a video presence on the Facebook platform, this could finally be a chance to see some return on that investment. We’ll be sure to try it out if and when we’re able to…