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Video ads are complicated. If that was untrue, we wouldn’t have an entire team of experts dedicated to optimizing publishers’ video advertising strategies for higher revenue. Like any complex topic, video advertising brings up a lot of questions. For publishers, one of the first questions might be something like this:

“Which type of video ad is best?”

Is it in-content video ads? In-stream ads? The answer depends heavily on your site, your audience and your revenue goals. In this post, we take a look at some of the types of video ads so you can make an informed decision.

Playwire’s Trendi video player turns every page view into a premium video ad impression to bring you more video ad revenue. Contact our team to learn more.

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Definitions: In-Stream Ads and Outstream Video Ads

The video advertising industry is large, and each major player (pun intended) seems to have their own definitions and terms of art for each type of video ad. What our team calls one type of ad may be an entirely different term from what you’ve heard before. With that said, video ads can be broken down into two broad categories: in-stream ads and outstream (sometimes called in-content) video ads.

What is an in-stream video ad?

In-stream ads are relatively straightforward. These are ads that appear before, during or after a video you create. Think of these like TV commercials that run before the show starts, at the break and after the show.

Outstream video ads are somewhat more complicated.

What is an outstream video ad?

Outstream video ads are ads that appear in a video player within the body of your page content or article.

For example, if you are a gaming news publisher, you might have a text-based article that contains a video player between paragraphs five and six. As the reader scrolls through the article, the outstream video ad is triggered and plays when they reach paragraph five. This video player can either collapse as the user scrolls away or break out and anchor to the corner or side of the screen.

In-Stream Ads: Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll and Post-Roll 

There are three types of linear in-stream ads: pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll. It’s important to note that there are nonlinear in-stream ads, too. These are usually not video ads, but they run within or alongside the video content. For the purposes of this article, we will take an in-depth look at the linear in-stream ad types:

  1. Pre-roll video ads. These ads run before your video content. Before your content plays, viewers are engaged and usually willing to sit through at least part of an ad to see what you have to offer. One study of more than 6,000 people found that only 17% of desktop and mobile viewers found pre-roll video ads to be disruptive to the user experience - much lower than the rates for mid-roll and post-roll.
  2. Mid-roll video ads. These ads run in the middle of your content. Some viewers may feel frustrated at the interruption in the video content, but the payoff is a higher average ad completion rate for mid-roll ad placement.
  3. Post-roll video ads. Post-roll ads run after the video content is complete. While it may appear counter-productive to place an ad after a video, some users will stick around to complete the impression. Creative transitions into post-roll ads and auto-play strategies can boost post-roll ad engagement.

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Types of Outstream Video Ads

Outstream video ads appear inside content types that aren’t video, such as text content. You can use these in a number of ways, but the first step is having a video player that appears somewhere on the page. This player can play an ad alone, but the best practice is to have some non-ad video content play in that player.

Here are a few ways to handle in-content video ads:

In-Article Video Ads

An in-article video ad player can occupy a large, primary part of the screen when the page loads, but when the user scrolls down to read the text content, the player can dock to the lower corner so it stays with them.

Trendi In-Article Demo gif

Sidebar Video Ads

A sidebar video ad is what it sounds like. The player loads and auto plays within the sidebar of your website so that it doesn’t obscure any part of your other content. In many cases, the video will remain in the sidebar, but Playwire offers integrations that allow the player to pop out and dock to another part of the screen after the user scrolls past the sidebar.

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Other Types of Video Ads

No breakdown of video ads would be complete without discussing two very lucrative types of video ads that don't fit well into the broader categories of in-stream ads and outstream video ads.

Pre-Content Video Ads

You might not have heard of this one, but it’s a high-performance video ad type that we love to integrate at Playwire.

We call it a pre-content video ad.

What are pre-content video ads?

This is a video ad that plays before you can get access to a particular type of content. This type of video ad can be extremely effective because it’s placed before content that the user is highly motivated to see.

On a gaming website, this could be a video ad that the user must watch in order to play the game they have clicked on. On other websites, it could be a video ad that plays before the user can get access to gated content, such as an ebook download.

Although this video ad format is less common than many other video ad types, it can be ideal in any sort of user-transition phase or waiting period, such as while content is loading or a digital asset is rendering.

Corner-Docked Video Ads

Corner-docked video ads don't really fit into either category since they can travel with the user, and technically be both an in-stream or an outstream video ad.

What are corner-docked video ads?

Corner-docked video ads can appear in any corner of the page when the page loads, and they stay docked on that corner of the while the user scrolls through content.

That way, users can scroll through the text content while a video player follows them and serves up content and ads in the corner. While these ads can appear in any corner of the page, most publishers choose the lower right corner because this placement won’t usually hinder the user’s view of the main content.

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Video Ads That Fit Your Target Audience and Revenue Goals

Whether you want outstream video ads, in-stream ads or pre-content video ads, Playwire has a revenue-maximizing solution for you. Our industry-leading video player, in-house, studio-quality video content, partnerships with premium advertisers and world-class team of experts are ready to take your revenue to the next level. We’re the trick up the sleeve of some of the most successful publishers out there - the stone you shouldn’t leave unturned if you want to bring in more revenue.

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