Advertisers have more options than ever before when it comes to online video advertising. 2015 has seen the Facebook become a serious player in the world of video and Twitter introducing new video offerings. Add in YouTube’s sophisticated TrueView ads and advertisers have no shortage of choices for getting their videos in front of their target audience.
As more video platforms open up advertisers are also becoming increasingly conscious of the visibility of their videos. One solution being offered by content publishers is the use of “Sticky Videos”. These are videos which “pin” to the browser’s window even as the viewers scrolls down through the page.
When is a View a View?
One of the most oft debated points in the world of video marketing is what constitutes a “view”. Facebook states that watching a video for three seconds is sufficient for a view. For YouTube that same metric requires the viewer to watch thirty seconds or to engage with the video in some way. By pinning the video to the browser’s window sticky videos remain visible for much longer. This allows content publishers to offer greater visibility to their viewers.
The Benefits of Sticky Videos
Sticky videos potentially offer benefits for the advertiser, publishers and viewers. For the advertiser sticky videos allow for longer visibility of their video making it easy to convey their marketing message. For the publisher the longer view times provide the opportunity to charge more to their advertisers. For the viewers sticky videos enable them to consume video content while scrolling through related content potentially enriching their user experience.
But the sticky videos are not without their downsides. User experience may actually be damaged by sticky video if the video content is distracting or unrelated to the editorial content on the page. While sticky videos can be paused or closed by the viewer the need to do so may be irritating. There is also the question of how much attention viewers will be paying to the sticky video while it is playing. Internet users have become expert at developing “banner blindness”. This same ability to block out ads might apply to sticky video, especially if the video is being played silently.
How Publishers Are Using Sticky Videos
CNN currently runs sticky videos which play normally at the top of the page. As the user scrolls down past the video it reduces and moves to the top right hand corner and continues to play. Social media giant Facebook has also made use of sticky videos with their “floating videos”. Floating video enables users to detach video from their new video using the video control bar. This allows them to continue to look through their news feed while they are watching the video.
Sticky video is likely to be a popular solution for both publishers and advertisers (at least in the short term) for increasing video visibility. Viewers though may be less enthusiastic about being exposed to unrelated advertising as they are reading through their content. Empowering viewers through control over how video is displayed in the manner of Facebook’s “floating video” may strike the right balance between user experience and the need for increased visibility.