Facebook to Show Video Ads, Share Revenue with Publishers

Facebook is planning tests of a new mid-roll ad format that would enable participating video publishers to insert ads at least 20 seconds into video clips on the social platform. To start, Facebook plans to sell the ads and share 55 percent of revenue with publishers (the same deal offered by online video ad leader YouTube). According to Facebook, its users watch 100 million hours of video per day. However, publishers have seen little or no revenue from their clips since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not allowed pre-roll video ads.

The new mid-roll approach could encourage publishers such as sports leagues to post valuable content.

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“Last year, Facebook started allowing publishers to create videos sponsored by advertisers, which has allowed some publishers — most notably BuzzFeed’s Tasty unit — to generate significant ad dollars,” reports Recode. “Sources say that decision came after BuzzFeed executives complained to Facebook executives that they weren’t making enough money from Facebook video.”

In the past, Facebook has experimented with ways to monetize video, such as allowing publishers to post standalone video ads in a dedicated video section, and last year’s testing of mid-roll ads in live videos.

“The plan Facebook is trying now could have the biggest impact,” suggests Recode, “since it includes all kinds of videos throughout the network — most crucially in the News Feed, its primary distribution mechanism.”