Facebook’s new in-stream video ad solutions target most engaged viewers

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Facebook’s new in-stream video ad solutions target most engaged viewers

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Dive Brief:

  • Facebook has two new in-stream ad solutions: In-Stream Reserve and In-Stream Categories, the company announced in a blog post. With In-Stream Reserve, ad placements are purchased in advance and served to Nielsen-verified in-target audiences so advertisers can reach viewers watching video from the most engaging, highest-quality publishers and creators. Through In-Stream Reserve Categories, advertisers choose content packages tied to categories, like sports, fashion/beauty and entertainment, and purchase them like In-Stream Reserve ads.
  • More than 70% of In-Stream ads on Facebook are viewed to completion, and most viewers have the sound turned on, according to the blog post. Facebook says it is testing ways for marketers to advertise in just one Facebook show or be a show’s exclusive advertiser with some of its Watch shows, like “Ball in the Family,” Returning the Favor” and “Red Table Talk.”
  • Facebook is also introducing ThruPlay, which gives advertisers the ability to optimize and pay only for ads watched to completion or for at least 15 seconds. ThruPlay is available for all video ad placements, including in-stream, stories and feed, on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. The new tool is available in Ads Manager now for auction and reach and frequency buying, and will be rolled out for all advertisers worldwide over the next few weeks.

Dive Insight:

Facebook recognizes that its users have varied video-watching habits, which range from short clips to longer viewing sessions, and is trying to give video ad buyers more choices as a result. The new video ad tools are aimed at helping marketers tailor their campaigns according to usage patterns and could encourage marketers to increase their investment on the platform. The news comes at a time when a number of platforms are ramping up their video content. While Facebook is still one of two dominating forces in digital advertising, with this news the company appears to also be emphasizing how it’s listening and responding to the needs and preferences of marketers and viewers at a time when it is under a lot of scrutiny for its business practices following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and amid a broader reckoning around social media’s potentially negative influence on consumers and society.

Marketers want more options for choosing where their ads appear, according to Facebook. The new In-Stream Reserve ads are best-suited for premium online video and TV buyers, with campaigns targeting audience segments that are difficult to reach, like younger viewers, and light viewers. In-stream ads appear only in videos meeting Facebook’s Content Guidelines for Monetization.

The new solutions appear to have been informed by video consumption habits outlined by Facebook last month. For example, in-stream ads longer than 15 seconds had a higher abandon rate, and this led Facebook to limit in-stream ads to 15 seconds and to place them only in video content at least three minutes long. The addition of ThruPlay will help marketers reach viewers who watch the entire ad.

Facebook draws 46% of all video ads created, and the share jumps to 74% when Instagram video ads are factored in, according to Clinch research. The platform is likely looking to grow that share by introducing new video services recently. In August, Facebook made its video platform Watch available globally and said it would expand its Ad Breaks program to help partners monetize their video campaigns.

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