To put it simply, video ad networks help both publishers and advertisers to trade video ad impressions at scale.
Here’s what it means.
When you see Youtube videos, you’ll notice an ad at the start, or middle, or at the end of the video. That’s the video ad. Now, imagine running the same type of video ads on your website.
You can run it along with your existing video content (like how Youtube does). People in online advertising call this “In-stream video ads”. If you are a typical publisher with no video content, you can place video ads like how you’re running image and text ads. That’s called “Outstream video ads”
So, similar to other ads, you still need to connect with thousands of buyers to run video ads. This is where video ad networks come in. Video ad networks connect you and the buyers so that video ad impressions are transacted.
Outstream video ads Vs Instream video ads
Okay, now that you know what a video network is, it’s time to know what kind of video ads should you go with.
Some argue instream video ads are effective, as it delivers ads when the user clicks the play button to watch the video content. Regardless of the ad placement (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll), ads are being viewed by the user along with the actual video content.
Agreed, but there are some downsides too. Users may consider the compulsory non-skippable ads as intrusive and end up activating a blocker.
Besides, outstream video ads are proven to perform better than instream.
Outstream video ads managed to garner higher visible duration too. This makes sense. On Instream ads, you happen to see the video ad and then skip it to see the content. On the outstream, the video will stay (in the muted form) on the page as long as you’re there. Need similar insights? Sign up to our weekly roundup.
That being said, outstream video ads are vulnerable to ad frauds.
So, there’s no way you can say which one of them performs well for you without experimenting. We advise you to start with outstream and if your readers are willing to stay longer, then add in-stream video ads.
In case you have no video content, you can still use a video syndication service to place contextually matching videos and ads on top of them (We’ll see the networks offering video syndication services in the list below).
Is it worth it?
Before getting any further, most of the mid-sized publishers have a question. Is it worth it?
Well, if you ask the same question a decade ago, we would say ‘not yet’. Besides skepticism, video advertising and video ad networks have grown exponentially over the last 5 years. Thanks to Facebook, Youtube, and thirst for video content, you can start right away without any second thought.
Cisco research says over 80% of the content consumption on the Internet will be video. 55% of people watch videos online every day, according to MVP, a digital media agency. We can go on and on. But you get it.
Consumer started to prefer video over other content formats. This means,
- Content creators and publisher will begin to focus on the videos.
- Advertisers want to tell their brand stories using the video format.
Do we need a video ad network?
Now, you might think why do we need a video ad network.
First, the most obvious reason, you can’t get advertisers every day throughout the year. Second, you must build the technology to run, report, optimize video ad campaigns. Third, you need help (both technology and expertise) fighting against the fraudsters and spoofers.
Ideally, you should pick the network which offers all the three.
Best video ad networks for publishers
Now, it’s time to see what are the top performing video ad networks you should try.
Video advertising just in the US alone is poised to reach $22.18 billion by 2021. It means you could see a lot of video ad networks in the market aiming to capture the market cap. Get more interesting numbers by subscribing to our newsletter.
So, we’ve analyzed several video ad networks for publishers like you and compiled the list here. You can see what each ad network claims to offer along with other details.
1. Oath Video Ad Platform (Rebranded as Verizon Media Group)
Oath, a Verizon company is, in fact, an ambitious project initiated by combining adtech assets of Yahoo and AOL. So, whether you hear Yahoo or AOL or Oath, it’s all the same. Oath offers a self-servable platform for publishers to run video ads.
Similar to other ad networks, you can run outstream video ads on your site by placing a JS. The platform could yield higher CPMs and has the ability to leverage your first-party data.
It comes with brand safety tools too.
Works with mid-sized and premium publishers
Has a video syndication service to help non-video publishers.
Higher CPMs as you could use your first-party data here.
2. Select Media
Select Media is an Asia-focused advertising network offering a variety of video ad formats including in-content, slider playlist, overlay, and bottom sticky.
They work predominantly with Asian publishers and runs outstream video ads.
Can be a great add-on for Asian publishers who want to run outstream ads.
Can yield lower to medium CPMs (as the auction happens on open exchanges and no option for you to utilize first-party data, CPMs wouldn’t be as high as Oath or Automatad Lite).
Suitable for publishers who have a higher percentage of Asia and EU traffic.
SpotX provides vertical video ads for mobile inventories but specializes in OTT demand. It can run both in-stream and outstream video ads.
As it doesn’t have the video syndication service, you are required to have a lot of video content to show in-stream ads.
Outstream ad formats such as in-content sticky and in-content can be played.
Works if you have a lot of video content or own your video library.
No syndication available.
4. Facebook Audience Network
Facebook offers in-stream video ads for publishers who have their own video content. As Facebook is more of a mobile company, you’ll find a lot of demand for your mobile video ad inventory.
You can either run pre-roll or mid-roll ads with FAN. No post-roll demands are available in Facebook video network.
CPMs highly depends on the geo of your readers and bid density at the time.
Requires you to configure ad server or SSP to deliver ads.
Suitable for mid-sizes and premium publishers.
Undertone, a Perion company tend to work with publishers with video libraries. It offers a limited number of video ad formats including the full-screen takeover ads.
When it comes to ads, you can only run pre-roll video ads. No mid-roll or post-roll ads can be delivered with Undertone.
Limited demand, but higher CPMs.
Lower fill rate.
Highly custom ad formats.
Suitable for premium publishers.
6. Chocolate Platform
Chocolate is one of the emerging ad network serving mobile publishers and developers. It offers videos ads to your mobile sites and mobile apps.
So, if you’re looking for a dedicated partner to monetize your mobile content, Chocolate platform can help.
That being said, the platform says that 90 percent of the demand bids on mobile apps, remaining 10% bids on the mobile web.
Has decent demand connections and brand partnerships.
Can be used as a supplementary network rather than a single monetization partner.
Admedia offers access to third-party videos and helps publishers to monetize them.
Unlike other ad networks*, ads are from the advertisers using the Admedia ad platform, which means the platform has to continually attract demand partners to deliver ads and maintain higher CPMs.
*Generally, ad networks connect to ad exchanges to sell impressions from the publishers (except Google AdSense). Admedia seems to sell impressions only to advertisers who connect to its platform.
The video content from its partners can be picked (as per the niche you’re in), but the video relevancy is still in question (contextual relevance may fail to match the content and the readers).
Ad relevancy is the same as the video content relevancy because of contextual-based targeting.
Decent CPMs, suitable for niche publisher who doesn’t have any video content.
8. Video Intelligence
It’s completely a contextual video platform providing a video syndication service and video monetization. It curates videos from content creators and places them on your website to run ads.
Brand safety, viewability, fraud prevention tools are also included in the package.
Connects to several demand partners and so can yield you decent CPMs.
Provides relevant and topical video content sourced from premium publishers.
Exponential is a publisher network which offers complete website monetization. Unlike other ad networks, it has tiered pricing plans to help long-tail publishers monetize.
It doesn’t provide any videos and can’t run any instream video ads.
Requires you to have at least 500,000 unique users per month.
Decent CPMs based on your audience geo and other factors including ad viewability, VCR, etc.
Rich media ads can also be delivered.
SpringServe connects your video ad inventory to its demand partners to fill your ad impressions. It claims to offer unique demand from its direct partners, advertisers, and agencies.
The solution can be used along with the existing solution provider (ad network or SSP). However, CPM depends on the audience and available demand.
Easy to set up because of the simple tag management system.
Robust demand partners.
Can be used as a supplementary monetization partner.
Factors to consider while choosing the video ad networks
Authenticity – Are they authentic and do what they say?
Brand Safety – Do the network partnered with any brand safety solution provider or have its own tool to ensure only relevant and safe content is shown to the readers?
Ad Fraud Prevention – How are they preventing the ad frauds (eg: domain spoofing)?
Expertise – Do they have the responsive support team and sound technical knowledge to assist you whenever needed?
Technology – Ad networks usually claims to get you 100% fill rate and highest eCPM with their technology. But do they even have the right technology in place?
Video ad networks Vs Video ad exchanges
Similar to video ad networks, video ad exchanges connect both publishers and buyers. But you can’t directly sell your ad impressions in an exchange. Video ad exchanges allow publishers to sell their ad inventories through the SSP (Sell-Side Platform). It’s rare to see an ad exchange which only sells video.
Ad Exchanges usually sell all sorts of impressions (from image to video to rich media ads) to the buyers. Buyers use a DSP (demand-side platform) to buy impressions from the exchanges. Here’s the detailed difference.
As a publisher, you’re looking for a provider who can deliver seamless ad experience to the readers while maintaining higher CPMs. We’ve worked with hundreds of publishers across the globe and have the technology and experience to ramp up your video monetization.
If you have over 1 million page views, reach us today. We’ll implement video header bidding, which essentially brings in all the premium demand partners to your inventory and increase your revenue substantially. Else, you can start experimenting with the list and let us know how it goes in the comments.