Video content has gained impressive popularity. It’s engaging, it’s creative, and it’s mobile-friendly. Hence, video advertising has also been widely used. Many businesses (86% to be exact) use video marketing to generate buzz about their products. And publishers are eager to maximize video ad revenue. As a result, there are more and more ad networks specializing in video monetization.
That’s why we decided to take a closer look at video advertising and what are the best ad networks to explore.
What is video advertising?
As the name suggests, these are ads that involve video content. There are in-stream ads that appear before, during, or after video content (called pre-, mid-, and post-roll, respectively). These could be considered irritating at times, so to ensure a good user experience, publishers take different measures. They may allow users to skip pre-roll ads after 5 seconds, limit the number of video ads shown per video, or refrain from using mid-roll or post-roll.
There are also outstream ads that are displayed alongside static content (in-content or as a sticky). These use existing ad units and do not require publishers to offer video content.
The IAB categorizes video ad formats into three groups:
- Linear video ads – videos shown before, during, or after the video content.
- Non-linear video ads – videos shown along with video content without interrupting it (i.e. overlays).
- Companion ads – display ads, or banners, shown alongside the video.
What is a video ad network?
Ad networks are intermediaries that help advertisers and publishers trade at scale, by aggregating ad campaigns from advertisers and ad space from publishers. Through real-time bidding technology, they automate the transactions between buyer and seller. Their goal is to ensure the best match. Video ad networks do the same, but with video ad impressions.
The Best Video Ad Networks
Primis offer its own Video Discovery ad unit for mobile and desktop. It’s connected to a huge video library of 3.4m pieces of content. Publishers can integrate it on their websites to engage users with relevant video content. They have full control over the categories, channels, and keywords they select. On the other hand, advertisers can use this newly-created inventory to place their pre-roll video ads. The Primis Discovery Engine gives recommendations based on contextual targeting, AI, etc. They report Viewability and Completion rates of above 80%.
Zoomin (part of Azerion) is a leading European video monetization solution. Their Smart Content solution uses contextual technology to display relevant, high-quality videos and games in articles. It creates additional in-stream inventory and monetization opportunities. The company offers other services, such as Zoomin+, which provides new videos to publishers on a daily basis.
Smart Ad Server offers both in-stream and out-stream solutions. They offer various ad formats including such for web, mobile web, mobile apps, and connected TVs. The company’s focus is on providing easy integration for publishers, combined with detailed reporting and advanced customization options. Smart Ad Server also deals with display advertising, so display and video demand compete together to maximize publisher revenue.
Teads TV is focused on creating a positive user experience with non-intrusive ads that don’t expand or block content. Also, they never stick to the screen unless the user interacts with them. Their Teads for Publishers solution offers real-time reporting and optimization tools. Apart from video ads, the company has expanded into display, native, and social extensions as well. They offer InRead (outstream) video ad formats for video and display. Teads uses Predictive Audiences and Advanced Contextual targeting to help advertisers reach the right audiences among 1.9 billion people per month.
Magnite (formerly Rubicon Project & Telaria) offers a curated programmatic video advertising marketplace. They handle over 1 billion ad requests on a daily basis. In 2020, the company acquired SpotX, a leading CTV and video advertising programmatic platform offering TV, OTT, and digital video. Magnite offers a unified platform for all demand, providing transparency and activating first- and third-party audience data. Available formats include native, pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll video, vertical video, reward video, and outstream. For an omnichannel approach, publishers and advertisers can also benefit from CTV, mobile, display, audio, and DOOH formats.
Fyber (a Digital Turbine company) focuses on a mobile game and in-app video advertising. Their aim is to offer simplified integration for mobile-first ad campaigns. Fyber’s proprietary out-stream video format offers support for both VPAID and VAST. They offer banners, interstitials, MREC, full-screen video, and rewarded video. They have a support team to help app developers. Advertisers gain access to 1.2B monthly active app users, curated audience segments, and ad fraud and viewability tools.
Unruly (part of Tremor International) is on a quest to ‘uncomplicate the world of video and CTV advertising’. Their video ad platform, UnrulyX, offers outstream, instream, and mobile video. Their so-called ‘polite’ ad formats also include CTV, in-app, display, and social extensions. Unruly provides publishers with a unified dashboard for self-service access, account management, as well as a DMP. The Unruly Shield combines their in-house team, technology, and third-party partnerships to guarantee brand safety and transparency. The Unruly SSP works in unison with Tremor International’s Video DSP called Tremor Video.
Viewdeos offers a fully-managed video monetization solution with a dedicated support team. They create a custom strategy while providing constant improvements and maximum transparency. The company offers a non-intrusive Viewdeos player, as well as daily content. Publishers benefit from a simple integration and real-time stats. The company works with over 200 publishers globally. They report an average viewability rate of 73%.
AdPlayer.Pro offers an out-stream video ad solution for publishers without video content. They focus on non-intrusive, relevant ads while providing a transparent revenue share model and customer support. Available formats include InPage, InView, InBanner, Sticky video ads, Rewarded video, and InApp video ads. They also offer an Ad-Enabled HTML5 Video Player. The company recently introduced an ad server feature that allows publishers to integrate video from their YouTube channels on their websites to serve as video content.
Chocolate Platform offers an invite-only video advertising SSP called Chocolate Premium. They state it’s ‘the world’s first video SSP with 100% server-side auctions’, combating latency and transparency issues. The platform targets premium brands and premium supply. Their video portfolio includes full-screen, native, rewarded, and pre-roll video ad units. Chocolate provides easy integration, ad fraud detection, integration with Google Open Bidding for video, and more. It works with 7700+ websites and apps, handling over 20B video ad requests monthly. Using Chocolate Platform, publishers can also monetize their mobile web, in-app, desktop, and CTV ad inventory.
Also worth mentioning
For the purposes of this article, the above list focuses on ad networks that specialize in video. However, there are programmatic platforms that deal with display ads as well, providing an omnichannel, full-funnel approach. These include leading ad tech providers such as OpenX, PubMatic, and Xandr (formerly known as AppNexus) who need no introduction.
Video is here to stay. Publishers and advertisers are more eager than ever to use video content and advertising to maximize revenue & audience reach. Thus, ad networks leverage new technology and know-how to help them monetize this coveted new realm. The companies we mentioned above definitely deserve attention if you want to make the most of video ads.