For publishers, video advertising is an absolutely essential part of a well-rounded and effective revenue strategy. That’s because of one simple reason: video ads yield more revenue, with cost per mille (CPM) rates between five and ten times those of display ads.

That fact alone is enough to get many publishers excited. It may even make you think you should go all-in on every type of video advertising available. We love to hear it, but we want to caution against a particular type of video advertising: in-banner video advertising.

You can technically allow in-banner video ads on your site, and you can even make some money from them. But there are a few issues with these ad units, and they’re concerning enough that Playwire avoids these ads entirely.

In this post, we’ll examine in-banner videos, why they aren’t always a good choice and alternatives that can bring in more ad revenue. Keep reading to learn more.

Playwire works with publishers and high-quality advertisers to drive advertising revenue through premium ad inventory. Our proven and proprietary methods have helped countless publishers meet and exceed their revenue goals. Interested? Contact us.

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What is an In-Banner Video Ad?

You know what a typical video ad is. It’s a video advertisement that plays inside a video player. The video player can be embedded in text content, or it can house the publisher’s video content, and the ad can play before, during or after the content.

In-banner video ads are something else entirely. That’s because there’s no video player involved at all. Instead of playing inside a video player, these ad units play inside a display banner. Videos and GIFs that play inside banners fall under the “in-banner” classification.

You will typically see three main types of in-banner video advertisements:

  1. Autoplay. These units usually begin playing the video creative at the time of the page load with no sound.
  2. Click to play. With a click-to-play in-banner video, the user has to actually click the ad to play the video.
  3. Hover to play. Much like click-to-play units, hover-to-play in-banner videos initiate when the user hovers their cursor over the unit.

The Problems with In-Banner Video Advertising

In-banner video is not a difficult concept to grasp. So, what’s the problem? As it turns out, there are a few problems.

Decreased Page Speed

Typical video ads play inside a dedicated video player. The player should be optimized for speed and performance in order to keep your site speed metrics from suffering. Display ad slots are not optimized in this way, so loading video creative inside a banner can quickly weigh your site down, decreasing your speed.

Slower loading times cause two problems for publishers: potentially negative effects on their SEO and clearly negative effects on the user experience (UX).

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Bad Reputation

When it comes down to it, in-banner video advertising are a sneaky way to generate a video CPM in a display ad impression. Across most of the advertising industry, in-banner video is generally frowned upon for that reason. If you want to be considered a high-quality publisher, you don’t want to be associated with an advertising practice that has a bad reputation.

Against Google’s Best Practices

Like it or not, Google sets the tone for most of the digital advertising industry. If Google likes something, both publishers and advertisers have to play ball if they want to remain in Google’s favor. The same concept applies when Google doesn’t like something. 

While Google Ad Manager does allow in-banner video, this type of advertising goes against Google’s best practices. As anyone who has been in the industry for a while can tell you, going against Google’s best practices is almost never a battle you want to fight.

Negative UX Impact

This one is simple but important. Visitors to your website simply aren’t expecting a video to play inside a banner. An autoplay banner video at the top of the page or somewhere along the side is distracting and a little annoying if it wasn’t expected.

Hover-initiated banner videos can be even worse for UX — especially if they begin playing with sound. If a user inadvertently hovers over the banner and a video ad starts blasting through their speakers, they’re not going to be happy.

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Alternatives to In-Banner Video Advertising

If you want to avoid in-banner video, what should you do then? There are plenty of in-banner alternatives that are higher quality and more likely to bring in revenue

For publishers of video content, there are three basic options:

  1. Pre-roll ads. These ads run before your video content plays.
  2. Mid-roll ads. These ads begin in the middle of your video content. 
  3. Post-roll ads. These ads play after your video content is over.

If you mainly publish non-video content, you still have plenty of options for video ads without having to resort to in-banner units. Basically, you will need to embed a video player somewhere in or near your content. Here are the options:

  • In-article video ads. The video player is somewhere within the text content, and when the user scrolls beyond it, it should dock to a corner of the screen.
  • Corner video ads. Here, the video player loads in a non-obstructive corner of the page and follows the user as they scroll. 
  • Sidebar video ads. Upon page load, the video player will be in the sidebar. But when the user scrolls beyond the length of the sidebar, the player can pop out and dock to a corner.

It might be an ideal time to tout (like we have recently in other articles), our world-renown video content production team, and Trendi™ product. A large majority, and most of the publishers we work with do not have their own video content, so our video product saves them a lot of potential additional resources and allows them to take advantage of premium video ad campaigns. 

High-Value Video Ads with Playwire

Much of this article has focused on what not to do, so we’ll end with something you should do: high-quality video advertising. In the current market, virtually no other ad type — including in-banner video ads — can compete with the revenue-generating potential of high-quality video.

If you’re ready to start bringing in video advertising revenue or drive your current video revenue higher, Playwire can help. With our stylish and lightweight video player, vertical-specific video content and access to premium advertising demand, we have what it takes to get your video advertising revenue to where it needs to be. 

To get in touch with our team, all you have to do is contact us online. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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