Outstream Video: The Latest Trend in Targeted Ads

If you don’t currently implement video in some aspect of your advertising or marketing strategy, here are some facts to mull over:

  • 500,000,000 people watch Facebook videos every day
  • More than 500,000,000 hours of video are watched on YouTube each day
  • Last year, in 2017, 74% of all internet traffic was video
  • Next year, in 2019, it’s predicted that 80% of all internet traffic will be from video
  • Video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%
  • 64% of customers buy a product online after watching a video about it

Of course, a large percentage of people probably spend their time online watching videos of cats playing the piano or someone unboxing something UPS just delivered or a person displaying their collection of doorknobs. But even if you take all that away, that still leaves a huge number of advertising videos, maybe even by one of your competitors.

The biggest thing in video for the past few years is outstream video, which—although you may not have known the name for it—you probably see every day. It’s popular and effective, which is why outstream video accounts for 68% of total advertising video spend.

Instream Video

If you watch a video on YouTube, you’ll see a short ad—or pre-roll—before the video starts. These ads average about 20 seconds in length, and viewers can skip most ads after a few seconds. Similar ads—called mid-rolls or end-rolls—appear in the middle or end of the content being viewed. Ads in this format, which give the viewer some options, are called TrueView ads.

In May 2018, Google introduced Bumper ads. Bumper ads are pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads that can not be skipped. The ads have a maximum length of six seconds.

The upside of pre-, mid-roll advertising is that people will watch it. Often, because they have no choice. The downside is that it’s intrusive and irritates the very customers a company is trying to get.

Outstream Video

So, what is outstream video? AppNexus has as good a definition as anyone:

An “outstream” video ad unit, also commonly referred to as “in-read” or “native video,” is a new video advertising unit that autoplays in a large format player whenever a user navigates to it within text content (typically an article), even if the publisher doesn’t have its own video content. It’s called outstream because the video ad exists outside of online video content—also known as instream video content—where the ad plays either before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the publisher’s video content. — AppNexus

At first blush, outstream videos sound like they would also be intrusive, as they pop up uninvited on the page you’re viewing. The difference is, most outstream ads can be closed or ignored without altering your viewing or reading experience.

Outstream Options

There are several types of outstream ads, and Radiant Media Player—outstream software provider—has some examples:

With outstream video, companies no longer have to settle for TrueView in-stream pre-, mid-, and post-roll ads connected with YouTube videos. Outstream videos are their own entity and can be placed in any of the above configurations, unattached to the sites on which they appear, and independent from YouTube.

Google Gets on Board

As proof that outstream video marks a paradigm shift in advertising, as of May 2018, Google became a player in the game. Cynics will say that Google’s motivation was the problem it was having last year when advertisers, unhappy with the content with which their ads were being associated, began leaving YouTube in droves.

Because outstream videos do not require placement within a YouTube video, they were a way for Google to offer a more palatable alternative to advertisers, and it said so in its Google Ads Blog, stating that the new outstream videos were “to extend the reach of your video campaigns to people beyond YouTube …” Not unexpectedly, advertisers who wish to place an outstream video through Google are required to join Google Video Partners.

As outstream video continues to gain popularity among advertisers, it’s important that companies not get left behind by using outdated, customer-alienating ad formats. Today, the smart money is on outstream video as the best way to reach online customers.

If outstream video advertising seems right for your company, call McFadden/Gavender Advertising. Our full-service team of digital experts will be happy to answer any questions. If you’d like to take your brand further, we can do just that. Contact us.