Best Practices for Video Ad Monetization: Publishers

There are certain policies that are applicable on  AdSense publishers, and Google Ad Manager Partners who use Google Monetization (Preferred Deals, Programmatic Guaranteed, Private Auction and Open Auction), and monetize with video ads in the auction, including ads shown in in-stream content, audio content, or in out-stream placements, for instance, games, in-article, in-feed. Anywhere a video ad is considered as eligible to serve, in a game, in a video player with in-stream video, or in a standalone out-stream placement, the video ad placement is considered.

There are a couple of key principles under which these policy requirements are organized-

Some ad formats have their own specific requirements like-

Use Supported Implementations-

The use of supported video implementations allows optimization of user experience, enables brand measurement, protects against invalid traffic, and renders proprietary formats such as TrueView.

In-stream ads- Google Interactive Media Ads SDK or the Google Mobile Ads SDK are used on supported platforms for video ad placements next to video or audio content unless it is through an official Google Beta program. 

For content on YouTube, publishers have to monetize through the YouTube Partner Program and cannot use interactive media ads products to monetize YouTube-hosted content.

Out-stream ads- To gather eligibility for serving out-stream ads, video ad placement must make use of Google provided out-stream solutions like- on the web, Google Publisher Tags; in-app, the Google Mobile Ads SDK. For anything other than placements in games, Google Interactive Media Ads SDK is not allowed for out-stream placements.

Accurately Describe Inventory-

Metadata and declarations can be used to correctly describe inventory and provide advertisers with correct information on where their ads run. Provide and maintain high quality, accurate metadata and description URLs for all monetizable video and audio content and for web games too. Your video ad placement must by default, either be audible or declared as a muted placement.

Note: Use Google’s format libraries for out-stream placements and they automatically handle muted declarations correctly.

Make sure to place in-stream video ad placements with relevant in-stream content. Remember that video slideshows that highlight the content that is available on your site, without any original content is not considered a valid in-stream content.  You should never serve in-stream video ads in out-stream video ads placements and that includes in-banner video ad placements as well.

In-banner video ads placements are inclusive of but are not limited to-

  • Displaying video ads in a display banner ad on a web page or an app.
  • Showing video ads in the page’s rail, in a 300 x 250 slot on the desktop.
  • Showing video ads in placements but with no accompanying video content, other than from out-stream placements.
  • Showing video ads in  placements that are- display ad units and video ads, irrespective of there being or not being any accompanying video content.

Best Practices for Video Ad Monetization

  • Always correctly and accurately declare ad placement size.
  • Be sure to secure advertiser value- 
  • For the protection of advertiser value, there must be an engagement between the users and the video ads. The video ads must be catered correctly in video ad placements and the placements must not surprise the users or behave in an unexpected and non-standard manner.
  •  A standard aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9  for horizontal videos, 3:4 or 9:16 for vertical videos, or 1:1 for square videos, must be maintained for all video ad placements.
  • For in-article and in-feed video ads, video ad placements must at the least be 256 pixels in both their longer and shorter dimensions, except for 300×250 and 320×180, which is also allowed. All other video ad placements must be at least 256 pixels in their longest dimension, and at least 144 pixels in their shorter dimension.
  • Make sure to never obstruct or obscure, or conceal or alter the rendering of any ad content or their controls.
  • Ads must never be placed close to or obstruct video player controls like play, pause, volume, and more. 
  • Ads must show only till the time the user is on the page and disappear when the user navigates from the page or content, unless specifically asked for otherwise in some ad formats.
  • Always respect the user.
  • Make sure that the video ads are served in an environment that is respectful of the users’ experience and time-
  • The total duration of video ads must never be greater than that of the video content for in-stream ads.
  • The total duration of the interstitial ad must always be lesser than the amount of content be the users for out-stream ads, which included ads in games. 
  • The ads must not play automatically below-the-fold and should not play on hover.
  • Autoplay is only permitted when at least half of the ad unit is visible on a 1024 x 768 viewport for desktops.
  • For mobile, autoplay is only allowed when at least half of the ad unit is shown on  a 360 x 600 viewport.
  • Only one video ad placement must plan in view at any point of time. 
  • There are additional policies that are applicable to video ad placements in a sticky video player which is the one that remains in a fixed location on the screen:
  • At the very beginning, sticky video play must start out as an in-page video player that is not necessarily sticky.
  • The video must transition from playing in the in-page video player to playing in the sticky video player as the user scrolls the page and that must remain in view as the user scrolls the page.
  • Before the transition to the sticky video player, the in-page video player must be fully viewable on the page.
  • The sticky video player must include a dismissal feature if the player has multiple edges overlapping in-page video ad content, in-page ad content, in-page content or in-page navigation.
  • Without having the user to hover over or tap on the video, the visibility of the dismissal feature must be visible.

Some specific ad formats have additional requirements-

TrueView and skippable video ads- For advertisers buying on YouTube, Google ads allow an extension of their budgets to sites and apps that partner with Google, which includes their proprietary TrueView format. To gain eligibility to receive skippable ads, which included TrueView ads, additional policies are applicable which are-

  • Video ad placements must by default be audible.
  • For TrueView, scroll to play ads are not allowed.
  • The video content’s duration must be at least 10 minutes for mid-rolls.

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