Tumblr Is Rolling Out Its First Autoplay Video Ads Today
11 brands, including Lexus, Universal Pictures and JCPenney, are testing the new ad product today before it's opened to all advertisers in mid-November, according to Ad Age.
Aiming for a bigger cut of the lucrative video advertising market, Tumblr is launching its first autoplay video ads today, Advertising Age reports.
Eleven brands, including The CW, Lexus, Unilever’s Axe, Universal Pictures, JCPenney and Hulu, are testing Sponsored Video Posts before Tumblr opens them to all advertisers in mid-November. Previously, brands could purchase Promoted Posts that included video but the new offering takes advantage of Tumblr’s updated video player that starts videos automatically, though muted until a user clicks to activate audio. The autoplay video also loops continuously and can be docked next to the dashboard so users can watch while continuing to scroll through other posts.
Online video ads are a fast growing piece of the online marketing industry. EMarketer estimates that U.S. advertisers will spend $5.96 billion for digital video ads in 2014, a 42% year-over-year increase. Yahoo is following Facebook into the autoplay era, which has helped Facebook challenge YouTube’s dominance as a video platform.
Tumblr is obviously looking for a bigger piece of the action. Parent company Yahoo expects Tumblr to generate $100 million in revenue in 2015 and autoplay video should help that effort.
Advertisers will be charged on a per-view basis for the autoplay ads, but only after an ad has been played in view for at least two seconds. Advertisers won’t be charged for looping views or for views from users sharing, or “reblogging,” the video with other Tumblr users. Ad targeting will be available based on the gender, location and interest information Tumblr collects about its users.
Tumblr isn’t putting any length limits on the ads and isn’t requiring marketers to agree to any minimum ad spend level to buy the ad product, Tumblr’s global head of brand partnerships Lee Brown told Ad Age. Tumblr also won’t be selling pre-roll ads, a staple on YouTube.
“We want to make sure that the product that would come out for marketers to take advantage of is not a pre-roll product that’s in front of the content that you want to see. It’s the actual content you want to see,” Brown said.
Read more about the new campaign in Tim Peterson’s Ad Age story.