Facebook today announced it’s begun testing ad breaks that interrupt on-demand video with a small set of partners, who will earn a 55% ad revenue share. That could change the way creators make video content so they tease viewers enough to sit through the ads, while luring more producers to Facebook.
On-demand video publishers will get to select where in their video they want to insert an ad break, but it must be at least 20 seconds in and at least 2 minutes apart. Recode reported last month that ad breaks were coming.
Facebook is also expanding its existing test of ad breaks in Live videos. Now Pages and profiles in the U.S. that have at least 2000 followers and reached at least 300 concurrent viewers in one of their recent Live vidoes are eligible to insert ad breaks.
After at least 4 minutes of broadcasting to at least 300 concurrent viewers, they’ll see a “You can take an ad break” money sign alert alongside real-time comments on their video. Tapping that initiates an ad break up to 20 seconds long, and creators can take more ad breaks every 5 minutes.
Now both live broadcasters and recorded content creators will earn a share of ad revenue from their viewers, creating an open monetization platform that could persuade creators to choose Facebook Live. YouTube already offers revenue shares, while Periscope has only begun doing big sponsorship deals with celebrities. Facebook was already doing one-off deals with big publishers to get them using Live, but now Facebook’s incentive system is available to a a much wider range of broadcasters.
One more piece of video monetizations news: Facebook’s Audience Network for showing ads in other apps now lets all publishers host in-stream video ads, after testing them this year.
Facebook’s VP of partnerships Nick Grudin tells TechCrunch “Whether on Facebook or off, we’re committed to continuing to work with our partners to develop new monetization products and ad formats for digital video. It’s early days, but today’s updates are a step towards this goal.”
Together, these initiatives could let Facebook further boost the cash it earns from the same amount of News Feed space. If Facebook can lure the best content onto its platform, users will end up sitting through more lucrative ads than if they were just scrolling past photo ads in the feed.