Facebook, which is looking to add more monetization options to its videos through the launch of interruptive ads, is taking a different path than other online video platforms. Rather than using the pre-roll ads that can be found on sites like YouTube, Facebook is rolling out “mid-roll” ads that will run in the center of videos and live streams.
The decision to go with mid-rolls is a bold one, and the social giant hopes it can dig into its pockets to get its creative partners on board with the new ad format. According to Recode, Facebook is negotiating deals to pay publishers who create videos and streams that include mid-roll ads.
Recode’s sources explain that Facebook’s new deals will replace previous ones that prioritized the production of live video. It’s been known for months that those agreements would not be renewed, though the decision to instead offer financial incentives for mid-roll users shows that Facebook still believes its payments are a good strategy for promoting its new video features.
To meet Facebook’s requirements, publishers will reportedly have to publish a certain number of ad-enabled videos each month. At least half of the content in question must be on-demand videos, and the other half can be either live streams or VODs. In order to qualify for mid-rolls, VODs must be at least 90 seconds long, while live streams must last for at least six minutes.
Previous reports have indicated that Facebook head honcho Mark Zuckerberg prefers mid-roll ads to pre-rolls because he believes they are less interruptive for users. The ad split Facebook plans to offer advertisers is understood to be the same as the one YouTube users: 55 percent for video publishers, and 45 percent for Facebook.
Recode also notes a few potential hitches with Facebook’s plan. Some publishers are reportedly hesistant to roll with mid-rolls because it is not known how the relatively unproven ad format will sit with viewers. In addition, some potential partners apparently believe the cost to produce live videos outweighs Facebook’s incentives.
The specific publishers who will take Facebook up on its mid-roll offer haven’t been revealed, but the companies that previously partnered with the social site on live content included the New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Vox Media. Recode expects the new, advertising-focused deals to last through 2017.