Digital Marketing

Pros and Cons of In-Stream Video Advertising Solutions

Many people mistakenly think that in-stream advertising solutions consist solely of rolling ads that appear before a video begins or that briefly interrupt a video mid-stream. Actually, all animated and interactive ads that play for 15 to 30 seconds inside the media player where the video also appears are considered types of in-stream ads. Ads appear in a linear or non-linear direction within the player. Linear ads are inserted into the video stream, while non-linear ads are placed above or below the content.

Three linear ads in video content

Aside from image or text displays that suddenly appear and disappear while watching online videos, you may also have encountered a TV commercial that plays before you start recording a video. Sometimes this pre-video announcement features a movie trailer or public service announcement. Meanwhile, the mid-roll ad pauses the show while it is playing and resumes streaming after it ends. Many videos display an ad or menu with clickable options at the end to direct viewers to other video content or to the company website.

Marketers prefer to look at the completion rates for these ads rather than the number of clicks. Casual netizens who see the ads tend to click on them out of curiosity, but end up exiting immediately after scanning the landing page. Users who saw the ads to the end retain the ad message longer and will likely visit the link at a later date with the intention of learning more about the brand. In essence, advertisers looking to improve awareness and perception of their brand among web users should employ linear ads in videos.

Overlapping versus non-overlapping ads

Rather than disrupt the viewer’s experience when watching a video online, some advertisers prefer to play their ads alongside the streaming content. Overlay ads are placed at the top of the video content, usually at the bottom of one corner of the screen. They appear repeatedly before the video begins, in the middle, and after it ends without covering the images. Meanwhile, non-overlapping ads appear off-screen, although they remain within the video player.

Although they don’t interfere with video streaming, character movements and flickering images in ads can distract viewers from concentrating on the video they’re watching. Additionally, advertisements can cover the part of the screen where subtitles and annotations normally appear on foreign language videos. Naturally, video ads allow users to close or skip and expand them to fit the entire screen.

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