Blog » Product Pulse

mobile video monetization
As publishers look to add brand focused mobile video advertising to their revenue mix, or improve the yields of their current video ads, there are many best practices that can be followed to maximize results.

Unlike performance-based ads that have been prevalent since the early days of mobile advertising, such as cost-per-install, brand advertisers are looking for different metrics for success. This may be in part because industry measurement leaders like Nielsen have found no strong correlations between CTR and brand building success metrics such as brand awareness, purchase consideration, brand favorability and ad recall. They have, however, found that well-executed online advertising can drive success with some of the branding metrics mentioned. For example, they found that exposing individuals to online advertising has a positive 6% impact on ad recall and 3% positive impact on brand awareness.

Advertisers really need to start asking themselves what success actually looks like and what executions are going to help them achieve success. Likewise, publishers need to consider which ad placement will deliver the best results for advertisers while also fitting seamlessly into the user journey of your mobile content. Here are five key details to keep in mind:

Completed View Rate (CVR)

Brand advertisers want audiences to experience the full impact of the video advertisement, which means they want audiences to watch the ad in its entirety. Publishers who can deliver high completed view rates will be able to command the highest prices from advertisers.

Pre-roll and mid-roll placements typically deliver the highest completed view rates, as they are in front of video content.

Interstitials on web and mobile apps also typically have high CVRs depending on implementation and the expectation of the audience. For example, is the ad placed in front of valuable content worth trading 15-30 seconds of attention? If not, CVR rates will suffer.

In-content and in-read units are becoming increasingly popular, but can vary wildly in results for advertisers. Placements at the top of a page, or near a comment section can drastically outperform ads placed in the middle of content that a user scrolls past quickly.

Finally, skipability is highly desired by publishers and users, but can also have a big impact on completed view rates. Experiment with different scenarios and measure results in your publisher environment. If possible, try some A/B testing, adding skip buttons at 3,7, and 15 seconds to see which delivers the best balance between user experience and completed view rates.


Don’t be stingy on passing data to buyers. Programmatic buyers use a wide variety of methods to identify their audiences, from probabilistic and deterministic forms of segmentation, to very specific targeting/retargeting of specific users. If you’re not transparently passing Apple IDFA, Google Ad ID or Bundle IDs with your bid requests, many buyers won’t be able to transact on your inventory. This will lessen bid density, driving down yields and fill rates.

Additionally, Lat/Long location data is highly valued by advertisers especially given the inaccuracies inherent in IP based location targeting on mobile.

The best way for publishers to obtain premium pricing for their own video inventory is to gather first-party data about their audience, make the data available to advertisers, and then use that data to communicate the special value of that audience, particularly in programmatic environments where data is a key factor in ad purchases. This data can be protected in smart ways that allow forecasting and actionability by buyers and sellers, yet doesn’t make the information available to a third party.

Viewability & Audibility

At SpotX, we believe there are three fundamental factors that comprise a video experience: sight, sound and motion. While motion for the most part is a given, we’ve seen increased interest in viewability and audibility for good reason. To optimize the experience ads must be seen and heard by users.

With regard to viewability, pre-roll has a major advantage. Bigger ads are more desirable to brands and there is no better implementation on a mobile device than a full screen placement.

If you are adding in-content or in-read ad units to your content, make sure that your ad unit only plays the video when content is in view and stops playing when out of view. This is a good practice for any mobile ad unit.

With regard to audibility, while not all placements are appropriate for audio, publishers need to understand that buyers are typically more interested in sound-on placements than silent placements and are generally willing to pay more for them.

Creative Length

While many performance based or mobile first advertisers have focused on optimizing their messages into 10 and 15 second video ads, many brand advertisers are still unfortunately repurposing 20 or 30 second video ads from television to meet their desktop and mobile needs. This means that if you only support video ads that are 15-second or less, you’ll miss out on a large portion of current brand advertising demand.


SpotX has been an early and strong proponent of the VPAID 2.0 standard that enables smart and interactive video advertising on mobile devices. This will be a big trend in 2015 and is a top request from large brand advertisers. Make sure your video environment supports the VPAID 2.0 standard or you will miss out on budgets.

At SpotX we continually evolve with changing technology to provide innovative features in our Platform. As part of that, in the past year we’ve launched or made improvements to our mobile video players, SDKs, and ad-serving tools for mobile web and mobile app, all of which support VPAID 2.0 standards and deliver new opportunities for publishers and value for advertisers.

In conclusion, understanding what brand advertisers are looking for on mobile will help you plan your placements and maximize the monetization of your mobile content. Keeping in mind these five details during the planning and implementation of video ads in your content will help you drive top results.

Twitter: Best practices for maximizing mobile video monetization
LinkedIn & FB: Looking to maximize your mobile video monetization? Check out these publisher best practices to learn how you could improve your yields.

Read more from our Mobile Series:


mobile video monetization

Insights from:

Leah White, Senior Manager, Product Marketing




Get News and Updates from SpotX

Sign up now to receive SpotX updates, news and product information from the leading minds in Ad Tech.