The social media giant is now starting to experiment with a new mid-roll ad format in its videos. This will give video publishers an opportunity to include ads in their clips after the videos have been watched by viewers for at least 20 seconds.
Just like YouTube, Facebook will be selling the ads and will be sharing the revenue with publishers by giving them 55% of all sales. This technique has helped YouTube to rule the online video ad business and if it worked for Facebook, publishers will have a chance to actually make money from the stuff they are posting on the platform.
Videos became a part of Facebook’s platform a couple of years ago. Reports state that by 2016, users watched 100 million hours per day. What differentiates this showing of ads from other ad businesses is that Mark Zuckerberg was never in favor of pre-roll ads which usually run before the clip starts. Although many publishers spent substantial resources on building up there business presence on Facebook but Zuckerberg’s strategy led many of them to earn no or very little ad revenue for showing clips on the platform.
Just last year publishers have been allowed to create videos that were sponsored by advertisers. But this opportunity was given to some publishers such as BuzzFeed’s Tasty unit. The allowance of video ads was given after the BuzzFeed administrator’s complained to Facebook’s executives about the lack of money making opportunities from the platform’s videos.
But Facebook have tried to create advertising opportunities for publishers such as the creation of a separate video section in 2015. The platform allowed some publishers to share revenue from individual video ads. The mid-roll ads have been tested during live videos last year.
The authorities from Facebook have declined to discuss the issue but the company’s VP Dan Rose last year indicated about expanding the mid-roll ads it was experimenting in live videos to a more video format.
The new ad strategy also indicates that Facebook is focusing more on the time people spend on watching videos instead of the total number of videos that are seen. Currently, the “video view” by Facebook has been defined as any time a user watches a video for a minimum of three seconds. In the media business this has been a source of controversy especially since Facebook has started playing videos in user’s feed automatically.
The latest mid-roll ads run only once the clip has been watched for at least 20 seconds by the viewer. These ads can also appear in videos that run for a minimum of 90 seconds. Facebook wants publishers to create clips that grab user’s attention for a while if they want to make real money.