Facebook confirms revenue share trials on video ads in feed

Nicola Riches
By Nicola Riches | 2 July 2015
Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook has confirmed to AdNews this morning that it is trialing a new option which will allow video creators to share revenue generated by accompanying advertising.

Currently testing for a select group of people using iPhones in the US only, it will mean that Facebook shares 55% of revenue from ads that appear in the “suggested videos” feed, based on the amount of time spent with each partner's video. The other 45% of income remains with Facebook.

A spokesperson for Facebook told AdNews today: “We’re running a new suggested videos test, which helps people discover more videos similar to the ones they enjoy. Within suggested videos, we will be running a monetization test where we will show feed-style video ads and share revenue with a group of media companies and video creators.”

Probably the most interesting aspect of the roll-out, aside from the fact it brings Facebook into line with the same practices and revenue-share deals offered by YouTube, is that it allows content creators – therefore media companies, who are also brands in their own right – to leverage more income from accompanying ads; ads they might even be running themselves.

Facebook has routinely been criticised for raking in revenue while content creators' revenue dwindles. This may go some way to redress the balance.

Junkee Media CEO Neil Ackland explained what it means for his media company, targeting the youth audience in Australia.
“Our view is that the interruption model of pre-rolls is a bit broken from a viewers’ perspective, and it certainly won't work on Facebook, so it will be interesting to see how Facebook inserts ad messages into video without affecting the user experience.”

He adds, “Facebook is driving massive video views right now without ads interrupting, so this will be a delicate balance between engagement and monetization.”

The news follows the recent roll-out of Facebook’s Instant Articles facility, which mirrors the Flipboard app that has been adopted by Samsung Mobile.

Where that differs from “suggested video” is that publishers can maintain 100% of revenue derived from adverts embedded into news pages served to Facebook’s Instant Article pages

Sydney Morning Herald innovation editor, Stephen Hutcheon recently explained at a conference attended by AdNews that there are pluses and minuses involved in that particular offering: “If you find the advertiser, you get to keep 100% revenue and you have an instant audience in the case of Facebook - 1.4 billion potential audience,” he said.

Here’s how “suggested video” works:

When a user taps on a video in News Feed, Facebook may show a feed of additional video suggestions its thinks the viewer will enjoy below the first video. These videos will start playing as the person scrolls.

The suggested videos are related to the one being watched, for example, videos on the same topic or videos from similar publishers.

Email Nicola at nicolariches@yaffa.com.au.

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