Slow burn: Facebook’s mid-roll ads have started generating revenue

Time and again, Mark Zuckerberg’s team experiment on new revenue-generating features to Facebook. Three months ago, we started seeing video ads in the middle of videos on the platform. Four publishers who are part of the beta test for the mid-roll ads have proven that there’s money to be made in this business, as long as you have a great scale to boast.

Three of the publishers said that they’ve already seen their mid-roll ads surpass the results of Facebook Suggested Videos, one of the platforms first attempts at helping publishers monetize their videos.

On the new mid-roll ads, one publisher said, “It’s on par with suggested videos, but not excessively over. I wouldn’t say Facebook has fully figured this out but I also wouldn’t say this is a bust; it’s working but it’s going to be a slow burn.”

If anything, this is the beginning of a whole new chapter for Facebook marketing. Being one of the top game players in the digital and social media marketing sphere, Facebook’s hit-and-miss approach to their business experiments have proven to be effective.

One publisher said that their videos that have 24 million three-second video views have brought in around $11,000 in revenue after Facebook’s 45% cut. Compared to YouTube, though, this number is a lot more. On YouTube, a publisher only needs 1.5 to 2 million views to have this kind of gain. Facebook’s edge, however, is their scale and the wide range of users.

“What Facebook lacks in terms of a net CPM, they’re making it up in terms of volume,” said this publishing exec.

Publishers aren’t inserting ads in all of their videos, however, noting that only 25% of their videos on Facebook are being touched for advertising. This also goes with Facebook’s terms of 90 seconds for normal videos and at least 6 minutes of live videos to be eligible for mid-roll ads. The publishers also noted that they don’t want to turn off their audience by inserting ads into every single content – a battle that Facebook and publishers alike need to face in the near future.