Why Click-to-Play Video is a Digital Publisher’s Best Friend

Change is afoot in the world of video advertising. In the months to come, both Google Chrome and Apple's Safari browsers are expected to release updates that approach video very differently than ever before. Rather than autoplaying, videos featuring audio that is not muted will require users to click to play, putting the control squarely in consumers' hands. This development stands to have a huge impact on the browsing experience. According to JW Player data recently cited in Business Insider, based on 400 million daily plays on our network-independent video platform, 65% of video plays in Chrome and 53% of plays in Safari are currently autostart, with half of those being sound-on. The numbers are similar for video ads: 61% of video ads in Chrome and 66% of those in Safari currently play without user initiation.

How to Make Your Viewers Happy AND Boost Video CPMs

It's no secret advertisers are hungry for video content and its viewers. The good news for digital publishers is that a programmatic approach makes it possible for anyone with modest scale to plug into a demand source and monetize video through advertising. Here's the catch: To create a standout user experience for viewers while also attracting premium advertisers, publishers need to execute careful and critical choices. Based on experience working with digital publishers around the world to optimize their sites for video, we've identified the strategies that are proven to deliver results. We've posted these recommendations in a 5-part blog series over the past 2 months with concrete actions you can take to grow your business by creating a more satisfying video experience for advertisers and users alike. Below is a summary for easy-access to these posts. 

5 Tips to Boost Video CPMs by Setting Up Your Ad Demand Stack – Part 5

Video publishing is a complicated operation. Over the course of our series on Video Publishing Best Practices, we've covered audience, speed, viewability, content, and user experience, all of which are fundamental to amplifying video CPMs. While a successful video strategy couldn't exist without these elements, there is one more aspect of video publishing to consider before you put your game plan into effect: optimizing your technical performance and ad demand stack.

1. Make Sure Your Video Player is Compatible with Your Ad Server

There's a lot involved in making sure your video player integrates with your third-party ad server partners. First, be sure to use a video player that's HTML5-compatible. Then, confirm that the player supports integration with your Ad Server or SSP. If your ad server of choice is DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), confirm that your player supports Google's IMA software development kit (SDK).

5 Tips to Boost Video CPMs by Knowing Your Users – Part 4

Know your audience is one of those sayings that applies to just about everyone, from keynote speakers to stand-up comedians—and yes, site publishers, too. When your objective is to boost your video ad CPM rates, you've got to get inside your viewers' heads. Determining who they are, how they're finding their way to your site, and what they hope to see when they get there allows you to tweak your video viewing experience to meet their specific needs. In this fourth installment of our Video Publishing Best Practices Series, we'll look at how customizing your video strategy to your unique audience can lead to a better return on investment for your advertising partners.

1. Make Sure Your Views Come From Real Traffic

Before you get started, you first have to make sure that your visitors are human. Fraudulent site traffic is an ongoing concern, as digital traffic generated by bots impacts video advertising by diluting the effectiveness of your clients' investments. As explained by eMarketer, video and mobile are especially prone to fraud as they are “higher value areas.” The company also notes that as fraud protection technology becomes more sophisticated, so do efforts to “deceive” buyers. This has advertisers collaborating with their vendor and publishing partners to reduce bot fraud and protect the integrity of their video impressions. As eMarketer puts it, “advertisers, legitimate sellers and industry organizations continue to push for greater accountability from those continuing to perpetrate it or permit its presence in the ecosystem.”

5 Tips to Boost Video CPMs By Building Your Content Library – Part 3

So far in our Video Publishing Best Practices Series we've covered the role that user experience and viewability play in video monetization — but none of that can exist without content. How you source and present your videos, and the placement of your clients' ads within them, influences metrics ranging from views and return visits to audience retention and subscription rates. What follows is a set of guidelines designed to help you make the most of the video content on your site in the interest of creating the optimal experience for the user and advertiser.

1. "Videofy" Your Evergreen Content

If you're like most publishers, you have a huge repository of evergreen content on your site. Articles that are generally useful and relevant to ongoing issues are likely to entice your audience for years to come. So why not leverage their popularity for the benefit of your advertisers? By identifying high-traffic stories and pages and then adding related videos to that content, you can offer desirable new advertising opportunities where there were none. Between providing your visitors with an enhanced content experience and giving your advertisers access to high-performing pages, it's a win-win.

5 Tips to Boost Video CPMs By Showing Off Your Content – Part 2

What does it take to create a video viewing experience so seamless and effectual that advertisers will happily pay higher rates? In the first installment of this series, we explored UX and its impact on video monetization. While great experience — from faster load times to a mobile-friendly format — contributes to success, there's more to creating an effective video publishing strategy. The way you present and position video content on your page influences everything from view-throughs to engagement rates. The goal for all publishers is to create an optimal experience for the user and advertiser. With that in mind, here are five best practices for improving the appearance of your video content and increasing the value of your ad inventory.

1. Select Eye-Catching Thumbnail Images

Before a video can generate a single view, it has to catch a user's eye. On a page teeming with content, this isn't always easy. The thumbnail images you choose to represent each video must be powerful enough to generate an immediate response, so that users can't help but click. Thumbnail images should reveal enough about the content that the user can make an informed decision to watch. Pick an image that showcases a key moment in the video and incites an emotional response. Featuring faces is also a smart move; just as happy faces can improve the effectiveness of advertising (neuromarketing research shows that "A smiling face is a powerful and incredibly simple tool to enhance customer joy and increase brand appeal"), consumers are likely to be drawn to the faces in your thumbnail images. You'll also want your images to feature a single point of focus and contrasting colors, as this will improve visibility on small mobile screens.

5 Tips to Maximize Video CPMs by Focusing on User Experience – Part 1

When it comes to web publishing, user experience (UX) is everything; no matter the nature of your site, a positive experience can have a direct impact on your business. With online video expected to represent 82 percent of consumer Internet traffic by the year 2021, the opportunity to prioritize monetization and boost video CPMs is greater than ever before. A focus on user experience design offers other benefits to media companies as well, including its favorable effect on search rankings. Let's take a look at five ways to optimize your site's UX for both the benefit of your company and advertisers.

What to Do Once Your Video Starts Trending

Internet trends arrive fast and disappear even faster. So when your video starts to gain traction, you want to be ready to engage your new viewers and build on momentum. There are applications that allow publishers to see the moment their videos gain traction—like JW Player's Right Now analytics tool—but the question remains: What do you once a video starts to go viral? Sit back and clink glasses? Of course not. In order to keep the trend going and expand your viewership, you'll need to get to work quickly. Otherwise, you might miss a timely opportunity and lose your audience to the next big thing. Here are four actionable steps to take once your video starts trending.

Google IMA Ends Flash in 2017

The end-times are near for Flash! As you know from our last blogpost about Flash, the technology is quickly being pushed out in favor of HTML5 thanks to Google. While the last post covered the deprecation of Flash in browsers, we wanted to let you know about changes with Flash in advertising, specifically Google IMA. If you haven't heard already, Google is planning to deprecate their Google IMA Flash SDK as well as cease support for Flash VPAID ads when using the HMTL5 SDK in 2017.  To top it all off, Google’s DFP will stop serving Flash ads as well. If you haven’t started migrating away from Flash, it’s time to get moving and we’re here to help you through it.