The Battle of Instream Ads:
Can Facebook’s new platform take on YouTube?
Facebook’s latest update is an all-time first for the platform; in fact, it could transcend them into the realms of digital video supreme leaders – move over YouTube and Vimeo
TSW’s social media expert, Kristy Hynes shares her insight on these new advancements
The all-new ‘Instream Ads’ incentivise users with over 2,000 followers (aka, influencers) to create video content within the platform, allowing 15s ad breaks to be served mid-stream. For every impression gained, the influencer receives 55% of the profits paid by the advertiser, and Facebook takes the remaining 45%.
Although this all sounds easy enough, there are some rules and regulations.
For example, the content must be 90s in full and must have been played for at least 20s before an ad can be served. Similarly, once an ad has been played, the content must continue for another 2-minutes before an additional ad can be served.
So, what does this mean for the advertiser?
At face value, it provides a new placement for video ads to be served and another metric to be measured.
As the placement becomes more competitive within the platform, the profit potential for influencers could supersede that of YouTube (who allocate less than half of their revenue to the content creator). As such, Facebook could then become a prime platform for video content creation and consumption within the market.
These tectonic shifts across the digital landscape force us to question the future-navigation of these platforms. This forward thinking is of course where our expertise as an agency lies, and in fact where we have already begun to succeed.
By creating a format within which instream ads become an accepted part of the viewing experience, Facebook has enabled a TV-like experience whereby the audience is readily engaged with the content enough to continue watching.
It is this ethos that is at the heart of TSW’s AV planning and buying. Our integrated TV and digital video approach to executing brand performance campaigns aims to create a seamless viewer experience as well as holistic and cost effective ad delivery for the advertiser.
There are of course caveats to Facebook’s mastery.
Most prominent is the issue of brand safety. With ads being placed within organic video content there is no real visibility on where your ads are being served. To tackle this topical issue, Facebook has created a new exclusion capability within the integrated adverts manager; this allows advertisers to exclude groups such as ‘gambling’ or ‘dating’. However, there are still concerns of how the organic content will be vetted as the proposition continues to scale.
Similarly, due to its recent release date there is very little inventory to source from. There is even less data to ascertain the success of the placement so far, or to gauge the average CPV or CPM at which this will be bought.