Hark my words, publishers, and let them set you free: Pre-roll is not the be-all and end-all of digital video advertising.
Sure, there’s post-roll and mid-roll, but let’s get past the rolls. In fact, let’s get past the video stream – in-stream video ad inventory is limited namely because premium video content is limited. Yet other types of inventory are vast, so vast that they may be able to satisfy advertisers’ seemingly limitless thirst for video.
Mobile stands out due to its unsellable nature – or rather, it’s a bitch for a direct sales force to peddle as advertiser interest is limited. But as I explained in a recent tome (“How Video Becomes the Champion of Mobile Revenue“), even publishers lacking video content can cash in on advertiser video budgets with mobile video interstitials. These units seem especially prime for mobile gaming apps, which account for a large amount of potential mobile inventory.
However, mobile interstitials are just one way to make space for video ads. I was recently treated to a demo of Ebuzzing’s Native unit – native in the sense that it’s within the content feed. As a user scrolls through a piece of text content, a video player opens up within the feed. Sound only plays when the cursor is hovering above it, and a skip button is available. Once the video has completed or the user scrolls past a certain break point, the video player collapses back into the ether.
It’s easy to see the potential for such a unit on both mobile and desktop. Ebuzzing’s creation reminded me of custom, publisher-designed HTML5 ads, ones that tend to look great but take time and effort to build. Viewability is guaranteed on more than one level – all of Ebuzzing’s various unit types are sold on a cost-per-engagement or cost-per-completed video (CPCV) basis.
I mentioned in my recent piece on mobile video that publishers should be aware that not all buy sources play on a CPM basis – the performance-based model is working wonders for Ebuzzing, which opened its US office last year. The company takes a fair deal of risk in the proposition, mainly develop units in-house using client assets, buying media for campaigns and serving the ads. But there must be something to it as Ebuzzing is working with both premium publishers and brands.
So again I say to ye publishers – don’t limit your video advertising dreams to the realm of rolls. Ad unit innovation and the fluidity of inventory placement in a mobile-first world promise video revenue opportunities to any and all publishers. Finally, keep your eye out for the potential in video CPE or CPCV – there’s not a chance I’d say CPMs are dead, but in such a rapidly changing space, alternate pricing models deserve attention.