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Facebook's Plan For Mid-Roll Video Ads Is An Interesting Proposition For Publishers

Facebook’s plan to show ads in the middle of its videos and do a revenue sharing arrangement with publishers is an interesting one. Facebook, like any other media company, is looking to monetize its video inventory. It figures that the more ads it shows and people actually watch, the more money it can make—and it’s planning to pass 55% of the sales on to publishers.

Oh, but wait, Facebook isn’t a “traditional” media company, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For that matter, back in December, he also said it’s not a “traditional” tech company, either.

Reportedly, Facebook’s new mid-roll ad format will offer publishers a chance to insert ads into their video clips after people have viewed them for at least 20 seconds. Pre-roll and post-roll haven’t been all that popular with consumers, and it’s unclear how consumers will react to the new format Facebook is planning.

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But if viewers react positively, it could be a boon to publishers. Zuckerberg has said that Facebook is focused on video, but the pesky pre-roll format is banned on the social media giant’s network. So most publishers haven’t seen much green from the video clips they show on Facebook --  a shame since advertisers have spent a bunch of money to establish video presences there.

In 2016, Facebook began allowing publishers to create videos sponsored by advertisers to help them grow ad dollars.

In the new scenario, it will be interesting to see how Facebook counts and values video views. Perhaps it will value time spent watching a video more than the total number of videos people watched.

Currently, Facebook defines a video view as any time a consumer watches a clip for a minimum of three seconds. That’s a pretty short “view.” The forthcoming ads can only run after a consumer watches a clip for 20 seconds, a considerable difference. Plus, the ads can only appear in videos that run for at least 90 seconds. This suggests that publishers need to present clips that really hold viewers’ attention. This scenario is well worth watching to see what develops.

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