Tumblr is quickly upping its online video game. Yahoo’s micro-blogging site is now selling video ads, and has attracted Universal, CW, and Hulu as its first few media advertisers.
Universal plans to use the online video ads to promote its November 14 release of Dumb and Dumber To, and the CW will highlight two of its new fall shows, The Flash and Jane the Virgin. Additionally, Hulu will pay for ads to promote its “For the Love of TV” campaign.
According to Variety, these ads will show up in Tumblr users’ feeds on auto-play, but with the sound muted by default (auto-play video ads will only be enabled for the Android and iOS apps when a user has a Wi-Fi connection). The video ads are also technically still in beta mode as they launch on October 28. Tumblr is working with Lexus, JCPenney, and Unilever’s Axe in addition to the three initial media companies mentioned above, charging a cost-per-view model only after an ad has played in-view for more than two seconds.
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Considering Tumblr just updated its video player last week, the company provided a rather fast turn-around in implementing video ads. This could stem from the rumors the Yahoo-owned site is trying to take on YouTube. However, Todd Spangler at Variety believes a more likely reason for Tumblr’s quick introduction of auto-play video ads is because Yahoo is trying to create a long-lasting revenue model and make some of its money back from the purchase of the micro-blogging site, which the online giant shelled out a good $1.1 billion for in May 2013.
While it’s risky to allow auto-play on videos (though the tactic may be working for Facebook), Tumblr seems to think users won’t mind a few seconds of video in between their regularly scheduled programming. The beta testing will certainly help Yahoo’s blogging site figure out its next steps to take in terms of online video and advertising.