Why you should be using out-stream video ads
Got video assets but encountering tight inventory for pre-roll and in-stream ads? Columnist Ted Dhanik argues for the effectiveness and scale of out-stream video ads.
Digital video ad spend in the US is on the rise, with eMarketer expecting it to reach $9.84 billion and represent 19.6 percent of total digital ad spending this year and reach $16.69 billion by 2020. But as this channel grows to account for 13.3 percent of total digital ad dollars, advertisers are stifled by the limited supply of true pre-roll inventory available in the marketplace. Enter out-stream.
Out-stream impressions are video ad units unaccompanied by content. While a pre-roll or mid-roll ad requires a publisher’s video to wrap around, an out-stream ad is a video ad unit not tied to any piece of publisher video content. Instead of running within a standard video player, these high-quality impressions can run within standard ad placements, on the corner of the page, or even within the content of a written article. They are designed to be 100 percent viewable, only deploying and playing when the unit is onscreen and the consumer is moving the page around.
Available inventory isn’t meeting demand
Everyone agrees that video is great, but the challenge for advertisers is that there is not as much inventory as there is demand. Out-stream offers advertisers more exposure and publishers new sources of revenue. According to a Forrester Consulting survey of advertisers, agencies and media companies in eight countries, lack of premium inventory is a key factor slowing down video’s growth.
The same survey found that 77 percent of agencies and 70 percent of advertisers think that out-stream ads will be important for an ad portfolio.
There are three major reasons that you should be adopting out-stream into your marketing program.
1. Out-stream offers new contextual opportunities.
Advertisers love video because it is a great way to tell their story in front of an engaged audience. Some publishers just don’t offer in-stream video ad placements, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to buy video ads on that site.
Maybe a publisher’s audience is the perfect demographic for your brand, but you overlook them just because you’ve got a great video campaign and they don’t have video content. You’d be missing out on your target audience over this discrepancy, but out-stream bridges that gap.
2. Out-stream brings scale to video.
Out-stream is a great way for publishers to quickly offer video inventory to keep up with demand. This is especially beneficial for advertisers that do a lot behavioral targeting because they need scale to identify a significant chunk of relevant users.
After all, if you are buying in-stream placements on a group of sites reaching 100,000 people and you target only women who wear lipstick, then your potential targets could drop significantly — to maybe 40,000 users. Segment further and your pool of possible prospects continues to drop.
Out-stream expands the available inventory as it creates potential placements on sites where pre- and mid-roll inventory does not exist. Therefore, out-stream allows advertisers to scale their buy even when they start segmenting their target audiences.
3. Data prove that out-stream is highly effective.
Click-through rates (CTR) for out-stream are extremely high relative to a standard display or in-stream video placement. An internal study we did found that the average CTR across devices for out-stream placements was around 2.5 percent, higher than the average in-stream CTR in Q3 of last year.
This effectiveness may be due to out-stream’s unique ability to play video content while a user is clicking around an interesting site or piece of content, rather than serving as a barrier to the content they want to see.
As out-stream takes off, there is no time like the present to get into this new format and supplement your video campaigns. You’ve already got the content, now push it out through every vehicle you can. Video no longer has to be limiting. Out-stream is only going to grow, and forward-looking advertisers are already adopting this emerging new vehicle.