Facebook’s pre-roll ad test will merely run in Watch , not News Feed

Despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergas long-held posture against pre-empting videos with advertising, Facebook plans to test out pre-roll ads, Ad Age reported on Friday.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the report, but a person very well known the matter told Marketing Land that the company is expected to limit the pre-roll ads to Facebookas new video hub, Watch, and not attach them to videos viewed in the traditional News Feed.

Facebookas adoption of pre-roll advertising may be something of a shock devoted its executives’ past remarks on the format. But the context of those comments is important. aWe donat think it would be a good experience in news feed, a said Zuckerberg during the companyas Q2 2016 earnings bellow. That was in July 2016, when Facebookas only video experience was in the News Feed. The company had not yet rolled out apps for connected TVs or unveiled its dedicated video hub for TV-style demonstrates, Watch.

But Facebook didnat want the fact that videos would be watched within the feed to curtail its ability to make money from those videos. So it compromised. Instead of pre-empting videos with pre-roll ads — which is very likely to result in people watching aa lot less of the organic videos that were posted, a Zuckerberg said — Facebook would interrupt those videos with mid-roll ads, or aad breaks.a That route, a video could pique a personas interest first, and then Facebook and the videoas creator could capitalize on that interest by inserting an ad violate after at the least 20 seconds.

However, Facebookas ad breaks have not proven to be so profitable. They have generated apretty meagera revenue for publishers who receive a share of the revenue from ads Facebook inserts in their videos, according to Digiday. If that remains the occurrence, it could hamper Facebookas ability to attract programming from publishers at a time when YouTube, Snapchat, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu and other video services are vying for original reveals. It could also hurt Facebookas ad revenue growth at an already delicate time.

Facebook has maxed out the ratio of ads to organic posts it can squeeze into peopleas news feeds. That ad loading issue is expected to slow the companyas ad revenue growth, and Facebookas ad transgresses have just been complicated matters. While video ads are typically pricier than other ad formats, and in-stream video ads are considered particularly premium, Facebookas mid-roll ads have not substantially boosted the companyas median ad prices and have cannibalized its ad supply. aThere are less impressions when people are consuming video, so that also is a factor as more time is spent on video, a said Facebookas CFO David Wehner in November.

By constructing people view an ad before they can watch a video, Facebook could recoup ad impressions and revenue. It could also boost advertiser finish rates and attain video ads more attractive to attention-seeking brands. That presumes people will be willing to sit through the pre-roll ads. Thatas why Facebook apparently plans to only prove these ads within Watch, where a person is expressly indicating their intent to watch a video, just as they do when they turn on their Tv or open YouTube. On those platforms, people are accustomed to ads interrupting videos and pre-empting them. And it seems that soon that will also be the case on Facebook, though only within Watch. At least for now.

Read more: marketingland.com

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