Outstream Video Ads Unwrapped

Nowadays, web users around the globe largely accept videos as their primary source of information, education, and of course entertainment. Videos are easy to consume, grab people’s attention and perform better than pretty much any other type of advertising or content throughout the entire ecosystem. Not a lot of other formats have been аs successful and video has become an essential part of marketers’ toolkit for branding purposes, driving engagement and expanding their reach across the web. Consequently, that creates great monetization opportunities for publishers, but what about those who aren’t using video as their medium of choice? Luckily there’s an answer. Outstream video allows media owners to cash in on content in pretty much any format.

Outstream Video Ads

What are Outstream Video Ads?

Technically you could call any ad appearing outside of video content as “outstream” and you wouldn’t be wrong. In digital publishing, however, outstream video is broadly accepted to be the format which dynamically displays video advertisements within or alongside static content. To clarify further, you should know that video demand can also be enabled for standard display ad units (i.e. 300×250, 728×90 etc.) but that’s not what we’ll be talking about here.

Outstream video is basically a video player that can be placed on pretty much any web page and simply serves ads, although some solutions allow for publishers’ content to be added too. The format is mostly defined by its two most popular implementations – in-content and as a sticky.

The first option is an ad that has a pre-defined position somewhere on the page (usually between paragraphs) and when triggered splits the content to serve the creative. The standard trigger is the users bringing the position into view, while an ad must also be readily available. Otherwise, nothing is displayed and the page remains as is.

The second implementation option is a sticky player that is usually docked on the side of the page and scrolls with users as they browse. Depending on your platform of choice you will also have access to different customization controls, such as size, position and trigger.

Both display options have their sound off by default, which can only be enabled via user action. Neither type is necessarily better than the other and publishers actually use both in combination quite often. You can have your in-content unit (usually larger) dispaly first, shrinking down and sticking on the side when the former falls out of view.

Outstream ads specifics

When advertisers look to expand their video ad campaigns beyond the streaming/broadcasting ecosystems, outstream advertising is a common choice. Let’s explore a few product highlights, so you can get a better idea of the format’s use cases:

  • Reach – outstream video allows advertisers to achieve a wider audience reach, especially if they already use in-stream campaigns.
  • Appearance – an outstream campaign is incredibly native-like, as it blends with the site’s content;
  • Video player isn’t a necessary asset – it is designed around publishers that don’t otherwise use video;
  • Customization – compared to straightforward in-stream video ad units, outstream ads are the more flexible option;
  • Ad fraud – outstream ad units are triggered only when the web page they’re on registers user action and that is difficult to be faked by bots;
  • Advertisers only pay when the videos are in view for a certain amount of time; furthermore, the average bid on outstream units comes at a 10-25% cheaper cost than pre-roll placements;
  • Ad networks are embracing outstream placements at an increasing rate.

That said, like with any other type of advertisement there are some disadvantages as well:

  • Poor analytics – many outstream platforms lack adequate analytics, which is why the ad format’s performance can be hard to keep track of; 
  • Even though users have the choice to watch the video ads in full or not, the format can be still considered as intrusive;
  • Outstream ads are relatively new and the best practices to achieve their full potential are not yet firm; 
  • Auto-sound is not always an option, which some advertisers rely on to grab viewers’ attention;

Outstream for Publishers

On the demand side outstream video is a great opportunity to reach more users with the same campaigns. But what about the publishers, who are considering the ad format as a supplementary source of ad revenue? Here are some of the pros and cons.


  • Setup – The outstream video ad format is pretty straightforward in terms of setup, especially compared to instream video;
  • Video ads deliver higher rates on average, regardless of the environment they’re served in.
  • Outstream units can be used by pretty much all publishers, with or without video content;
  • Better optimized for mobile browsing in comparison to other forms of video ads;


  • Risk of user irritation – if implemented correctly, outstream video is quite practical and not really that intrusive. However, poor optimization and/or bad ad placement are not uncommon and instead of having a neat native-like look, it might end up being a huge nuisance for users.
  • Performance is a little lackluster when compared to it’s in-stream alternative. That said, it being a purely incremental revenue source, that’s not a major drawback.
  • Outstream video is triggered based on engagement, so inventory volumes are never going to be at the same level as with static inventory.

In short, outstream video ads are an innovative way to gain a steady revenue stream and present unique oppurtunities for both publishers and advertisers. Feel free to get in touch and our team will be happy to provide you more details on how you can add video to your monetization strategy.