The best ads tell stories that pull people in, capture their attention, and encourage them to believe in the advertiser’s message. Digital video has given advertisers the canvas to do just that on more screens than ever before. And they’re taking note — digital video spend grew 35% last year alone.1 But as powerful as video ads are, they have historically been confined to players and in-stream video content — missing important consumer moments throughout the day like reading the news, playing a game, or scrolling through a social app.
To help video advertisers engage their audiences in more places, and to enable publishers to capture growing video budgets for all their non-video content on sites and apps, we recently released four new programmatic out-stream video formats in a new beta on Google Ad Manager. We’re also working closely with the IAB Tech Lab Open Measurement Working Group to ensure that all our new video formats are easily measurable on all platforms and devices.
In-article and in-feed formats put video ads front and center in publisher content
With out-stream ads on Ad Manager, publishers can serve video ads within all their content feeds and within their articles programmatically. Both in-feed and in-article video ads seamlessly fit a user's scrolling behavior on both web and apps. They are also muted by default to ensure they don’t disrupt the user. Moreover, the ads only play when 50% or more of the ad is in view, ensuring higher viewability rates. If users choose to engage with an ad, they can tap to unmute the video.
On average, out-stream video ads are earning 8.9x higher CPMs compared to standard banner ad CPMs on Ad Exchange.2 And in certain regions, among the more than 100 publishers who have already signed up for the beta, partners have seen substantially greater CPM lift as we’ve continued to fine-tune and scale the new formats.
Native video ads conform to perform
Native video ads are designed to fit the form and function of the surrounding page or app. Using standardized ad components like headline, description, logo, and video files, publishers can create custom ad experiences that are seamlessly integrated with all their sites and apps.
Since launching their “Adapt” native video ad format with Ad Manager, Time Inc. has seen a 5x increase in video inventory available on all its properties. Ashley Allen, Director of Ad Product Solutions at Time Inc., commented, “Adapt gives us the flexibility to meet the demands of our advertisers while responding to the behaviors of our audiences. Ad Manager’s native ad technology has enabled us to capture this opportunity as quickly as we’ve been able to.”
Rewarded video ads deliver value for users and engagement for game developers
Games are among the most popular types of apps, pulling in a high percentage of male and female users of all ages, 96% of whom engage with gaming apps every week.3 Game developers using Ad Manager Rewarded video ads are capitalizing on growing usage by creating non-intrusive, user-initiated ad experiences that offer users something of value (like an extra life in a game) in exchange for viewing a video ad.
In 2017, Nestlé ran a campaign in the UK with King, the gaming company behind Candy Crush, offering users an extra life or a boost in their games in exchange for watching a video ad. The user-initiated placements generated a 99.5% view-through rate and a 3% clickthrough rate on Android devices.4 Performance like this underlines the fact that when users’ experiences and choices are respected, both the advertiser and the publisher benefit from increased engagement.
Ensuring accountability in all new video formats, devices, and platforms
In addition to developing new video ad formats, we’re also working to ensure that video viewability is easily measurable on all platforms and devices — including mobile apps. To accomplish this, we’re integrating the Open Measurement SDK into both our Google Mobile Ads and Interactive Mobile Ads SDKs. Once implemented, mobile app publishers and game developers will be able to power any vendor’s measurement tools, which in turn will reduce development time and streamline deal negotiations with advertisers.
The initiative marks a significant step towards improving the measurability of in-app video ads, and we’re working closely with partners like King to test the Google Mobile Ads SDK integration in their gaming apps.
For the industry at large, The Open Measurement SDK will create a universal standard for the collection of video viewability data and reduce reporting inconsistencies throughout the mobile app landscape. For King, the single-source solution will enable us to engage with advertisers regardless of their preferred measurement vendor. As a result, mobile in-app video will become a more predictable advertising channel, which in turn will create more demand for our inventory.
, President of Advertising, King
Out-stream video formats are poised to play an important role in the future of video advertising for publishers, because they create a meaningful opportunity to increase the demand for and value of their content and audiences. As advertisers continue to demand more premium video inventory, non-video publishers and game developers should take note as they may be sitting on a treasure trove of video ad impressions. We look forward to sharing more of our work and innovations in these areas in the months ahead.
By Benyah Shaparenko, Product Manager, Google