Programmatic Video Ad Trends You Need to Know

Yaniv Rozencweig
Senior Account Manager, Demand Partnerships
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In an industry that moves in milliseconds, how do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends? The good news is that just like last year, 2017 continues to be all about video. However, the trends are constantly evolving and that’s why you need to keep your finger on the industry’s pulse. Take a look at the latest video trends – and see if you’re in the know.

Outstream is on the rise

One thing is for certain, outstream keeps growing, especially on mobile. Unlike pre and mid-roll, which sell at very high prices and mostly via direct deals, outstream offers a more affordable alternative that’s easier to work with. Not only does it solve limited supply and open up monetization for more publishers who weren’t technologically or content equipped previously, it’s also user-friendly, less disruptive, and provides a better user experience due to its “native” feel.

Silence is still golden

The scroll is the new skip and you only have seconds to engage users. Mute auto-play ads with subtitles work best on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and now browsers are joining the silent trend. Apple and Google are both saying goodbye to auto-play video ads with sound.

Personalized ads

There’s been a lot of talk about the growing popularity of personalizing ads. You can see this with the updates in T&C’s for many platforms, new settings in apps, and popular platforms featuring personalized (targeted) ads for users. But…there’s still a lot of work to be done. A recent survey by Adobe saw that millennials and Gen X like personalized ads but don’t think they’re “good enough,” while a large amount of US users aged 50+ are against personalization altogether.

Measuring success

Brands are still mostly using video views to measure success for most campaigns. However, DSPs are now requesting measurable KPIs to better optimize campaigns, such as completed views, ROI, and viewability (time spent on each video view).

There’s also been more movement towards transparency. For example, Mobfox along with other SSPs are no longer receiving bundles. The vast majority of traffic on Mobfox is transparent with inventory names matching bundle IDs. But to improve results, advertisers and brands will also have to embrace transparency, clearly define KPIs, and share results with publishers and their campaign managers.

VPAID for mobile

VPAID has a lot going for it. It can play HTML5 ads, and offers engagement metrics like completion rate and viewability, and you don’t need an external tool like Moat to analyze metrics. However, some VPAID players can also cause issues (latency and empty ads) if used as an ad manager. To combat this issue, VPAID should be used with direct demand.

A couple more to think about…

Expected growth in Programmatic TV. While it’s still small, as more providers enable programmatic TV, more ad budgets will shift there.

Greater reliance on 3rd party verification tools. Many companies have partnered up with external verification tools like Moat & Factual to combat ad fraud and ensure ad quality and accurate metrics. It’s not clear if these will be enough, and I expect that companies will look inward to put in place complementary internal tools to help them fight the good fight.


That’s enough about trends, I’ll just leave you with a couple video ads that rock!

Geico: This ad makes good use of YouTube’s pre-roll as it gets the message across within the first 10 seconds. The rest of the ad is hilarious and entertaining for the user but also completely skippable, so it’s a win-win for both the advertiser and user.

Samsung: This video is all about the feels and achieving the impossible. It also happens to push Samsung, their products, brand, and a motivational hashtag.

Remember, it’s all about the user. If you can create relevant, relatable content that establishes a personal or emotional connection between your brand and the user – you’re on the right track.

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