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Vertical Video Content and Ads Increase in Popularity

Publishers are flocking to vertical video content and ads now that “it’s hip to be vertical.”

In the not too distant past, vertical video was only for Facetime and school plays you forgot to flip your phone sideways for. But with the advent of video streaming on social networks, and apps like Snapchat, vertical video is becoming less of an “oops.”

“It’s hip to be vertical. With smartphones held upright rather than sideways, such full-screen video started gaining big buzz last year as a way for Snapchat to build out an advertising business,” Lauren Johnson writes in AdWeek. “Now, ‘vertical’ has become the biggest buzzword in digital marketing. Periscope, Meerkat, Mashable and even YouTube have latched onto the concept, and with wider acceptance, traditional creators and designers are finding ways to adapt for video shot straight up.”

This week, according to Digiday, BBC has become the latest in a flock of publishers to adopt vertical video for ads.

“More than 60 per cent of BBC News’ digital traffic now comes via mobile devices. A team of 20 people from the London newsroom will be involved with creating, sourcing and formatting video for the domestic and international apps. They will curate material that suits the mentality of viewers at the BBC’s peak viewing times of day: 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., regardless of time zone. That means videos available in the morning will give an overview of what big news stories are coming up, while those published in the app at the end of the day will be more like round-ups of the biggest daily news,” writes editor Jessica Davies.

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“Internationally, improving mobile advertising is something we’re very focused on,” said James Montgomery, BBC News digital development director. “We recognize that taking 30-second TV pre-roll ads isn’t a great user experience and doesn’t monetize well. So we’ve tried to re-imagine the editorial experience in vertical for mobile, and have also challenged ourselves to make mobile advertising more vertical and native,” he added.

Back in April, The Washington Post made its tech-vending owner proud by offering ad services to clients with the trendy vertical video, Digiday reports.

“The average CPM for ads on The Post’s website ranges from $5 to $50 depending on how the ad is targeted and on what page it is served, Dicker said. For the custom ads, The Post charges an extra $3 CPM above the base price. Brands can run the creative elsewhere at whatever price they get through ad networks, plus the $3 premium for the Post. None of the advertisers have done so yet, but Dicker said he hopes that once clients see the performance, they’ll demand that rival publishers start running them,” Garett Sloane wrote.

“There are seven vertical ad campaigns in the works with brands, including ones with Bank of America and Raytheon, according to the Post. Some of those brands plan to run their vertical ads outside The Post’s properties, Dicker said. Early results show that the video ads, which run up to 15 seconds long, get a more than 50 percent completion rate, Dicker said. The Post pushes the format in almost every sales call, Dicker said. His research and development team is comprised of eight people, supporting a larger sales organization of 60, mostly based in New York. He has five engineers, a designer and a user interface expert, helping build the platform.”

And more recently in August, MediaPost reported Flipbook was adding vertical ads. “Flipboard’s retooled Cinema Loop ads show a teaser clip essentially as a GIF in vertical format and link to a horizontal version of the ad. The original horizontal teasers drove a 20% higher completion rate, according to Flipboard, and they expect vertical teasers to do even better,” Frederick writes. “Vertical video has been much maligned since the advent of mobile phones. But it has started to appeal to many advertisers because it fits the orientation that most people hold their phones in the majority of the time they are using them. This means advertisers need to specifically produce or edit ads for the new format, and because of this, they drive a premium price.”

Will you be adding vertical video content and ads to your reel of offerings?

 

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