In-stream ads
In-stream ads
In-stream ads are a dynamic form of digital advertising, placed directly within the content streams of videos, offering a seamless viewing experience.

What are In-stream ads? 

In-stream ads refer to advertisements that are embedded within the video content itself, either before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the primary video. In the context of mobile performance marketing, these ads leverage the growing consumption of video content on smartphones and tablets, providing advertisers with a captive audience and high engagement rates.

Be aware that these ads are designed to be non-skippable for a short duration, typically ranging from 5 to 30 seconds. While this period may seem brief, it presents a significant opportunity to leave an impression on a user who is highly attentive and ready to engage.

Types of In-stream Ads

Linear In-stream ads come in three varieties: pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Additionally, it's essential to acknowledge the existence of non-linear in-stream ads. Unlike their linear counterparts, non-linear ads often aren't video-based and appear within or beside the video content itself. However, this discussion will focus exclusively on exploring the linear in-stream ad formats.

  • Pre-roll ads: These ads, often lasting for 15, 30 or 60 seconds, play before the main video content starts, grabbing viewers' attention from the outset. Since viewers are eager to watch their chosen content, a concise, compelling pre-roll ad can effectively convey your message or brand proposition without the option to skip, maximizing impact.
  • Mid-roll ads: Inserted into the video at natural pauses or breaks, mid-roll ads mimic traditional TV commercial breaks. The non-skippable format here is particularly powerful because viewers are already invested in the content. The captive audience during these moments is more likely to absorb the ad's message, making mid-roll placements highly valuable for advertisers seeking to engage deeply with their audience.
  • Post-roll ads: Appearing after the video content concludes, post-roll ads target viewers who have watched the content in its entirety. Though these may seem less impactful due to their placement at the end, the non-skippable nature ensures that dedicated viewers are exposed to the full message, potentially influencing their perception of the advertised brand or product. Creative transitions into post-roll ads and auto-play strategies can boost post-roll ad engagement.

Why are In-stream ads important? 

In-stream ads offer a multitude of benefits that make them a favored choice for advertisers aiming to capture user attention and drive engagement. Here are some key advantages:

  1. Engaged Audience: In-stream ads are placed directly within video content, ensuring that they are seen by viewers who are already engaged with the content. This leads to higher attention levels compared to other ad formats.
  2. High Compatibility with OTT and CTV: In-stream ads seamlessly integrate with Over-The-Top (OTT) services and Connected TV (CTV), allowing advertisers to reach viewers on a variety of devices, including smart TVs, streaming devices, and gaming consoles. This expands the reach beyond traditional web and mobile platforms.
  3. Enhanced Brand Recall: Video content has a strong impact on memory retention. In-stream ads, by virtue of being part of a video viewing experience, benefit from higher brand recall and recognition among audiences.
  4. Measurable Performance Metrics: In-stream advertising platforms provide detailed analytics, allowing marketers to measure key performance indicators such as view-through rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. This data helps in optimizing campaigns for better performance.
  5. Improved Viewability and Completion Rates: The nature of video content encourages viewers to watch these ads in their entirety, especially if they are non-skippable or well-integrated into the viewing experience. High completion rates translate into more effective messaging and brand exposure.

Pro Tips on Using In-stream Ads

To maximize the effectiveness of In-stream ads and ensure they deliver the best possible results, consider these best practices:

  1. Optimize for Mobile Viewing: Given the significant amount of video content consumed on mobile devices, ensure your in-stream ads are optimized for mobile viewing. This includes considering vertical formats for ads, using large, readable text, and ensuring interactive elements are easily clickable on smaller screens.
  2. Prepare a good Call to Action (CTA): Include a clear and compelling call to action in your in-stream ads. Encouraging viewers to take a specific action, whether it's visiting a website, signing up for a service, or learning more about a product, can significantly increase conversion rates. Make the CTA stand out and easy to follow.
  3. Capture Attention Immediately: The opening moments of your in-stream ad are pivotal. To keep viewers from hitting skip, launch with something that grabs their attention—be it a compelling question, an interesting story, or a common issue that your product solves. Employ striking visuals, engaging sounds, or even humor to make an immediate impact. Capturing viewers' attention right off the bat significantly enhances the likelihood they'll watch your ad in full.
  4. Leverage Ad Podding: Ad podding lets you place a series of ads back-to-back within one advertising slot. While it's true that excessive ad podding can be disruptive, when used judiciously, it's an effective strategy for amplifying your ad revenue.

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