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Mid-Roll Video Ads: Advertiser’s Dream and Consumer’s Nightmare

AdSpark Team - 7 years ago

Why Video is Taking Over 2017 has clearly shown that Facebook is becoming a video-centric platform. Facebook users watch 100 million hours or 8 billion videos every day. Mark Zuckerberg, being a big believer on videos, aims to monetize video content by converting it to a business.

If you’re like me who finds yourself continuously streaming random videos, you probably have been interrupted by mid-roll ads. Also known as ad break, these are 15-second video ads targeting videos with at least 90 second playing time. To lessen the chances of skipping the ad, mid-roll ads are shown on the 20th second of the video.

This recent disruption has sparked quite a controversy as it hugely affects user experience.  Ad breaks may be the answer to successfully monetizing videos but at the same time, sounds like a video viewer’s nightmare.

Below are several benefits and disadvantages of mid roll ads.

Advertiser’s Cash Cow

      1. Viewers are less likely to skip mid roll ads as Facebook studies show that once a user watches the video until past 15 seconds, they are more engaged and more likely to finish the content. This is a great alternative to pre-roll videos which instantly turn off the audience

2. As of 2016, 85% of videos in Facebook are watched without sound. Through ad breaks, silent video streaming can be avoided since these ads instantly play with sounds on.

3. There is a bigger chance to monetize content as compared to sponsored viral videos. Facebook allows 55% of revenue goes to publisher and 45% goes to facebook.

Consumer’s Pet Peeve

  1. Mid-roll ads disrupt the video you’re watching whether you choose to watch or skip it.
  2. Mid-roll ads make you wait despite choosing to skip it.
  3. It lacks contextual targeting. You will be served a random video ad that doesn’t connect to your current content.
  4. It overall disrupts the seamless experience that may lead to drop in engagement and eventually content abandonment.

Mid-roll ads are still on its early stage.  Advertisers may soon come up with more creative videos that will not interfere with user’s experience. Or maybe, viewers might decide to fully skip videos with ad breaks.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, content has to 1) benefit the consumers , 2) provide targeted content to your profiled customers, and 3) be engaging and immersive.  If Facebook sees this as a long term business, we only hope for a more seamless consumer experience.


Sloane, G. ( Sept 13, 2016) Mid Roll Commercial Breaks are Becoming  More Common in  Digital Videos. Retrieved from http://adage.com/article/digital/interrupt-stream-mid-roll-video-ads-taking/305823/
Reigh, B.  (January 9, 2017) Facebook may even get more annoying with new mid-video ads. Retrieved from http://www.androidauthority.com/googles-powerful-job-search-feature-going-live-today-781039/
Schroeder, T. (March 15, 2017) Facebook Mid Roll Ads Might Need  a Re-Roll? Retrieved from http://www.ppchero.com/facebook-mid-roll-ads-might-need-a-re-roll/
Patel, S. (May 17, 2016). 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. Retrieved from https://digiday.com/media/silent-world-facebook-video/


AdSpark Team

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