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Navigating the future of video advertising: IAB's 2024 updates explained by Membrana Media

In 2024, video advertising is set to undergo significant changes, driven by evolving consumer preferences and advancements in technology. These trends, introduced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), promise numerous benefits for publishers. Membrana Media explores the key developments in video advertising for 2024 and how they can be advantageous for publishers.
Navigating the future of video advertising: IAB's 2024 updates explained by Membrana Media

The updates made by the IAB Tech Lab were initially seen as a positive step towards increasing transparency in the industry. However, these changes posed a significant challenge for some publishers, particularly smaller ones. In response to industry-wide pushback, the IAB Tech Lab revised their guidelines to provide more clarity for publishers and introduced a third class of inventory known as Accompanying Content.

Instream video takes centre stage

The recent update in video inventory classification witnessed a significant shift, with approximately 90% of previous Instream video now labelled as Outstream. Changes in audio criteria, particularly the consideration of sound-on settings, led to reclassifying quality inventory as Outstream. This change raised concerns for publishers, especially those mindful of not annoying their audience.

To address this, the IAB Tech Lab introduced updates evaluating content based on user intent and the presence or absence of editorial video content. The inclusion of sound-on in video is recognised as a reliable indicator of consumer intent, essential for identifying high-value video inventory that might not meet other Instream criteria.

In 2024, Instream video takes center stage with significant advancements, introducing classic Instream and Accompanying Content as distinct categories. This shift is designed to offer advertisers more tailored options for their strategies, with a focus on creating a refined and engaging viewer experience.

One notable transformation is the emphasis on clear viewer intent, aligning with the industry's mission to deliver personalised and relevant content. Advertisers are increasingly targeting users genuinely interested in engaging with video content, moving away from the era of forcing ads on unwilling viewers. In 2024, Instream video will be characterised by advanced targeting, sophisticated ad placements, and a dedicated focus on viewer intent, contributing to a more respectful and effective approach in digital marketing.

Accompanying Content: A new frontier

Navigating the future of video advertising: IAB's 2024 updates explained by Membrana Media

Accompanying Content is an exciting addition to the existing video categorisation. It represents a fresh and innovative approach to engaging audiences with video ads. In this format, video content is seamlessly integrated into other forms of content, such as articles, news feeds, or social media timelines.

Accompanying Content takes advantage of the context in which it's placed. For example, a short video ad can complement a written article by providing additional information or a visual demonstration of a product or service. This contextual relevance enhances the viewer's experience and encourages more organic engagement.

This format is particularly appealing because it offers a non-disruptive way to connect with the audience. By embedding video content within articles, news stories or social media posts, publishers can capture the viewer's attention without interrupting their browsing experience.

Previous classification challenges and IAB solution

Small video players exclusively displaying ads, termed Outstream, yield low visibility and revenue for publishers. Ambiguities in the existing OpenRTB definitions led some publishers to misclassify their video players as Instream, creating challenges in the advertising ecosystem.

Thus, IAB Tech Lab members addressed this by creating new video placement categories:

  • Instream: Video ads, including pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll, played before, during, or after requested streaming video content. Video must default to 'sound on' or have clear user intent. The player remains the primary content, and subsequent ad calls should reflect any size changes.

  • Outstream: Video that doesn't occupy the entire screen and doesn't require the user's full attention, served outside of a video player, between paragraphs of text, typically without sound.

  • Accompanying Content: Ads played before, during, or after streaming video within paragraphs of text or graphical content (i.e. muted autoplay, floating placements, small video placements). Playback begins when in the viewport and may convert to a floating/sticky player as it scrolls off the page.

  • No Content/Standalone: Video ads played without streaming video content, such as in slideshows, native feeds, in-content, or sticky/floating placements.

New 'video.plcmt' field introduction

This value indicates whether the impression is Instream, accompanying content, or no content/standalone, respectively. Notably, 'plcmt' is distinct from the existing 'placement' attribute, allowing sellers to convey both the traditional and new categorisations by providing values for both attributes when labeling the type of impression.

What it will mean for publishers

The new Instream approach benefits creators and publishers by delivering video content to an audience eager to watch, providing advertisers access to high-quality placements for an improved user experience.

The shift in categorisation will impact CPMs for various ad inventory types, requiring publishers to reevaluate pricing. SSPs have been slow to adapt, but as DSPs commit to the new classification, publishers should speed up their adjustment during the migration period.

Remaining ahead of the curve for businesses

Based on the previous information, here are some actions that publishers can consider taking in response to the updates from the IAB Tech Lab:

  • Review and adapt inventory: Publishers should thoroughly review their inventory to understand how the revised classifications affect their ad placements. Identify which ads fall into the new categories, including instream, accompanying content, interstitial, and no content/standalone.

  • Evaluate monetisation strategies: With the shift in ad classifications, publishers need to assess how these changes impact their monetisation strategies. Consider the potential impact on CPMs and revenue streams, especially for ads that are no longer classified as instream.

  • Leverage accompanying content: Embrace the concept of accompanying content and explore opportunities to integrate it into your content strategy. This can provide additional value to users and potentially lead to increased engagement and revenue.

  • Optimise user experience: Focus on improving the user experience, especially in terms of sound settings. Ensure that ads are set to 'sound on' by default when user intent aligns with video content, but be mindful of not annoying your audience.

  • Diversify ad formats: Given the new categories, publishers can diversify their ad formats to include pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads, as well as no content/standalone options. Experiment with these formats to find the best fit for your content and audience.

In conclusion, video marketing is continually evolving, with new formats and strategies shaping the industry. Instream Video and Accompanying Content represent two prominent categories that highlight the shift towards more precise and engaging video ad placements. As we move into 2024, staying ahead of these trends will be crucial for businesses looking to make a significant impact in the digital ecosystem. Membrana Media, as an end-to-end production video company, stands prepared for these transformations and is aimed to assist publishers in seamlessly adapting to the upcoming changes.

21 Nov 2023 10:22