Facebook Will Show Mid-Roll Ads After the 20-Second Mark

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Facebook will begin testing 15-second mid-roll ads on videos, a move that will help monetize the sizable video platform it's created. The social network seems to be redefining "mid-roll" here, though. While the format is typically used in long-form premium content in place of standard commercial breaks, Facebook's mid-rolls will start at the 20-second mark on videos that are at least 90-seconds long. The ads themselves will be no more than 15-seconds long.

The company has previously said it won't stream pre-roll ads on videos, as YouTube does. The timing couldn’t be better, as mid-rolls are increasingly popular with advertisers: A recent report from online video platform Ooyala showed the use of mid-roll ads is growing, and that they're taking market share away from pre-roll ads. In early 2015, pre-rolls made up 75 percent of all video ad inventory. By Q3 2016 that dropped to 60 percent thanks to a preference for mid-rolls.

Publishers will get 55 percent of the revenue for mid-roll ads shown on their Facebook videos.

It will be interesting to see how the move will play out. While it could irk some viewers and lead to lower views, it should also encourage publishers to post more valuable videos now that they can monetize them.

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