In order to get more people to tune into Live streams — and to make money in so doing — Facebook is piloting real-time ads that brands and publishers can purchase in order to alert users about ongoing broadcasts. The ads will appear in users’ Newsfeeds, Digiday reports, enabling broadcasters to cull more eyeballs right as streams are happening.
Facebook confirmed that it was “running a small test” on real-time ads, but did not disclose any other details. Prior to these ads, brands and publishers had been able to promote Live content through sponsored posts, according to Digiday.
And many marketers have even found success in promoting Live content through sponsored posts after a stream has ended, Digiday reports. When the cosmetics brand Benefit ran boosted posts in late September for a Live broadcast that initially aired in August, for instance, the campaign boasted exponentially higher viewership than the brand’s other live streams, it said.
Live has been a top priority of Facebook’s for many months. In addition to real-time ads, the company debuted last month the ability to pre-schedule streams for Verified Pages. As of today, however, all users can schedule live videos up to one week in advance in order to build buzz and receive shareable promotional links. Facebook has also created a pre-broadcast lobby of sorts, where viewers can connect with one another three minutes before a stream is scheduled to start.
In terms of monetizing Live video, Facebook is also testing out different ad products. In August, for instance, the company began testing mid-roll ads that appear within streams, which can run five minutes into a broadcast and be up to 15 seconds long.