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Over the last few weeks, we’ve provided a crash-course in outstream video advertising, examining the characteristics of outstream video ads and exploring the different types of outstream video ad units. Why the sudden emphasis, you might ask? Because outstream video advertising is on the rise. IABUK reports that it now accounts for 43% of all video ad spend, and that overall, spend on outstream video increased by 234% in 2016. Let’s dive in and explore why that is.

High Viewability

Viewability is a key concern for advertisers operating in the digital space, so it’s easy to understand the appeal of ad formats that are viewable by design. Outstream ads certainly fit the bill—for instance, the SpotX In-Content ad unit is designed to play only when a user scrolls over it and pause when it moves off the screen, and interstitial ads and vertical video ads employ a pop-up format so advertisers can be assured that they will be seen.


Video is an inherently engaging format, but outstream video stands out from the pack in terms of its ability to effectively convey a message to consumers. MarketingLand reported on a study recently which found that people actively watch outstream video ads for 25% longer than instream video ads, and other sources have found that consumers are 300% more likely to remember the message of an outstream ad that they’ve watched to completion than that of an instream ad.

Long-Form Video

As part of an increased effort to add value with video ads, many advertisers are experimenting with long-form video that tells a story rather than simply pitching an offering. Unfortunately, long-form video ads aren’t well suited to pre- or mid-roll instream units, which are often limited to about 30 seconds. Outstream video inventory supports long-form video, providing advertisers with a minimally-disruptive distribution channel.

Growth of Mobile

Around the globe, mobile devices have overtaken desktop computers as the preferred channel for digital media consumption. comScore reports that, in the U.S., mobile accounts for 71% of total time spent online, with mobile in Indonesia leading the charge at 91%. Considering these figures, it comes as no surprise that vertical video—an outstream ad unit created specifically for smartphones—is also on the rise. MOVR recently reported that smartphone users hold their phones vertically more than 90% of the time, but editorial video is still overwhelmingly created in landscape orientation. Outstream vertical video ad units make it possible for advertisers to create smartphone ads that provide a seamless user experience even in the absence of vertical editorial video.


Advertisers and media owners alike are catching on to the effectiveness of video advertising, which explains why spend on video ads increased by more than 85% in the last two years. The challenge is that instream video ad inventory has struggled to keep pace with the increased demand. Many digital media owners don’t have the resources or infrastructure to publish editorial video content, which places instream video ads beyond their reach. Outstream video removes that obstacle, opening up the market and making video advertising available to non-video publishers which thereby increases the availability of video inventory for advertisers.

We’re excited about what the future holds for outstream video advertising. While we don’t expect that it will replace instream video, it will definitely become a prominent fixture in the market, opening up more opportunities for video advertising as a whole. Interested in learning more about outstream video ads? Check out this demo of our In-Content Ad Unit.

More in this series:

Outstream Video Advertising 101

Understanding Outstream Video Ad Units


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