Unruly claims its new outstream format (meaning the ad does not live within a standard video container but is embedded within article pages on a site or in a mobile stream) is friendlier than standard pre-roll, since it only plays when a consumer scrolls over it and is billed to the advertiser only after the ad has been viewed for 30 seconds.
Although the unit is most typically priced on CPCV, Kenneth Suh, Unruly’s head of global business development, said publishers can price it as they please depending on their sales structures.
While it’s debatable whether outstream formats actually interrupt the audience experience since they auto play when the user is in-range of the unit, Unruly claims its in-article format lets readers close the ad or initiate audio.
“It gives the reader the ability to control, share or close the unit, so it’s not invasive,” said Carter. “In-article really complements where we’re expanding in the next 12-18 months. Video inventory is very scarce and usually requires you to create your own content or drive traffic back to content to generate a pre-roll impression.”
Video monetization is a Catch-22 for publishers, Carter said, because while video inventory is in-demand from both consumers and advertisers, video content is expensive to produce.
Partnering with third-party distributors lessens the pressure on publishers whose direct sales businesses are oversold on premium video inventory, but they need to carefully weigh their external investments.
“You need to understand where your audience comes from end-to-end,” Carter added. “As you expand your brand, [publishers have to consider] whether [they] work with Facebook, Google and Apple to expand their reach.”