The online video segment is growing at a rapid clip, as audiences spend more time scrolling through content on desktops and mobile devices, and less time watching traditional TV.

This shift has sparked a frenzy of formats, platforms, and channels vying for control of the digital frontier. Lately in the realm of video, the industry is seeing a powerful fusion between two innovative trends—outstream formats, and programmatic delivery.  

As adoption rates for each of these technologies continue to rise, the duo has become an indispensable strategy, creating new opportunities around content monetization for publishers and capturing audience attention for marketers.

Video marketers can achieve greater engagement with more precise targeting.

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Perhaps the biggest development in outstream video over the last year has been the proliferation of in-feed placements. According to the IAB, in-feed video is video found in content feeds. In-feed video is considered less disruptive because it is not found in the middle of content articles.

In line with the rest of digital ad spending, the majority of video ad campaigns are also going programmatic, referring to the automated, real-time exchanges that enable advertisers to bid on only the most relevant audiences at the most valuable moments.

By combining the precision of programmatic, with in-feed video placements on premium publishers marketers for the first time can promote their premium videos at scale, to hyper-targeted segments of users across the open web.

Solutions that enable brands to scale campaigns and publishers to rapidly scale video revenues.

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While video distribution is often a complex and expensive endeavor, there are a host of companies attempting to make things easier for buyers and sellers.

Through direct integrations with demand-side partners such as The Trade Desk and AppNexus, content discovery platforms now enable advertisers to rapidly scale up their programmatic video campaigns to include in-feed placements across hundreds of premium publisher websites.

Publishers, too, can quickly dive into the monetization opportunities of programmatic video, even if they don’t have their own video content by using in-feed video placements.

In-feed placements are highly adaptable across desktop and mobile, and can be implemented within minutes through a simple line of code.

mobile marketers

While it’s exciting to see how rapidly in-feed placements are being folded into programmatic buys, it’s also important to remain attentive to the characteristics of each inventory type.

For example, in-feed placements tap into a unique audience mindset. While disruptive ad units, such as pre-roll, must capture a user’s attention immediately, non-intrusive formats that are delivered in-feed can engage audiences through meaningful storytelling, since they’ve proactively earned a user’s attention.

Device type also plays a big role in whether or not a video campaign proves successful. Even if a programmatic video ad targets the right user at the right time, the content must still align with that person’s expectations in order to create an impact. When it comes to mobile video, users often prefer overlaying text captions or subtitles so they can follow along without audio..

As in-feed formats and programmatic delivery channels account for a greater portion of the high-growth video segment, every publisher and advertiser should consider how these technologies can be applied to further their own business goals.

It’s still early days in the world of online video, but it seems like these buzzwords will be driving both the conversation, and the economics, of the industry for years to come.


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