A Guide To In-Page Video Ad Formats


In-page video ad formats are a type of video advertising that does not require existing streaming content to house their feature. As a standalone video ad format, in-page video ads enable publishers to tap into video advertising budgets without the need for creating their own video content.

To give you some context, the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) splits video advertising into two ad format groups; Linear and Nonlinear. The definition of both relates to whether the ads appear within video content as In-stream (Pre-roll, Mid-roll, and Post-roll) or outside of video content as Out-stream (In-page, In-banner, In-article, Native, In-feed and Interstitial).

In-page video ads is a term often used to describe different types of outstream video advertising. Most commonly, In-article and In-feed, which in turn can often be referred to as Native advertising as well. As confusing as that sounds, In-page video ads are very common and used by a large amount premium content publishers.

According to the IAB, Outstream video ad formats have consistently accounted for a larger proportion of video ad spend than Instream video ad formats. This shows the value proposition these formats bring. Publishers often find that click-through rates tend to be much higher than typical ads and engagement is usually much stronger. Add to that the increased competition these formats bring to the display areas of the page and you can see why they are so popular.

In-page video ads


Ultimately In-Page video ads are effective, high impact, and engaging ad formats. Generally utilized on article and content pages, becoming visible and only playing when in view (usually 50% of the player needs to be in view) as a user scrolls through the page. Thus, ensuring close to 100% visibility when reporting back to brands and advertisers.

The user is always in control of sound, with the ability to turn On/Off. This is very important, as the Coalition for Better Ads, have stated that they find auto-play video ads that require user action to activate the sound, did not fall beneath the Better Ads Standards.

Both VAST and VPAID tags, developed by the IAB for the delivery of video advertising, are supported. In-page video ads are among the least intrusive of the outstream video ad family. The video player is natively embedded amongst the content and doesn’t bring any disruption or negative space. It can also collapse upon scrolling away or upon video completion. Pricing is usually based on a vCPM, a cost-per-thousand viewable impressions, where the creative needs to be in view for at least 2 seconds. 

In-page video ads can appear on home pages, content hubs, within the content on article pages, on product pages, and social platforms. These ads fit in to match both the design and the layout of the surrounding content. They must also include disclosure language or other visual cues to let the user know that these are paid ads and not actual publisher content.

As the video is injected in an environment traditionally reserved for display advertising, In-page video ads achieve the kind of scale and reach that Instream or Pre-roll video ads cannot. Whether on desktop, mobile web or in-app the format enables publishers to monetize video advertising without the need for video content.


Google advises that In-Page Video Ads are particularly suited to campaigns looking to increase brand awareness, lending itself nicely to extend TV campaign reach. 

In-Page Video Ad units help overcome three popular talking points in the digital advertising industry:

  • Intrusive ads impacting user experience – The formats provide non-intrusive, native advertising experiences to users they can control
  • Increasing video ad budgets – The formats enable publishers to maximize the reach of brand campaigns extended from TV as more and more campaigns are planned for multiple digital screens
  • Lack of video inventory – Publishers can create new inventory sources to tap into video budgets in a world of diminishing supply

The kinds of sites that are best placed for In-Page Video ads are those with articles, where the format can open in-article and those with scrollable content where the format can open in-feed. The key aspect is there being enough time and space for a user to scroll and engage with the ad, where the video player can open in the middle third of the page for example.

There are many ways In-page video ads can be used. Essentially, Brand Awareness and Content Recommendation are the two most popular. 

With brand awareness campaigns, standard video is generally used. The difference is usually rather in the type of targeting used for the decision making on user pairing. Contextual targeting ensures the brand video is relevant to the content or site the user is browsing. User-based targeting such as retargeting, socio-demo data, or other cookie-based strategies, ensure the brand video is relevant to the user based on previous online behavior or stated interests. 

With content recommendation, the aim is to promote alternative content the user may be interested in. More often than not, this is a way to enable a publisher to redirect the user to another page on their site, once the user interacts and clicks on the ad. This is a great way to keep the user on the site and achieve greater value from the same user as more impressions will be monetized from their activity. Content recommendations can also include sponsored content from brands looking to engage with users. This is where content can be created specifically for the brand and the publisher, either by the brand and/or publisher or a separate content agency. Additionally, you can mix internal and external links to achieve both traffic retention and monetizaion of those impressions simultaneously.


Once you have decided that your site would benefit from having some In-page video ads and your content would work with this type of format, you need to decide on how to implement it. You can use Google Ad Manager to create in-page video ads, enabling dynamic allocation, preferred deals, reservations, and open bidding programmatic campaigns.

However, there are many solutions and partners out there offering this type of advertising as well and any partner you want to work with must be tested and results measured. The best way is to measure like for like. There are very few one size fits all solutions, so a combination of partners and like for like tests are needed. For instance, a partner that specializes in content recommendation should be tested against another partner that also specializes in a content recommendation. 

The key factors to consider are whether any partner you use has an available dashboard or platform for reporting and analytics, what targeting options and capabilities they have, payment terms and thresholds, and specifically what ad formats they support.

Check out our In-page video solution, which has all of the mentioned above content options available and delivers higher traffic retention, as well as incremental revenue.