13 October 2020
Adding a native video player to your website can boost user engagement, time-on-site and revenue. However, there are many crucial decisions to make: in-stream or out-stream? Should you make it float on mobile? How big should the player be? Where should you place it? This guide will cover everything you need to ensure native video is a success on your website.
Native video player size
Player size is an important factor in determining the level of user engagement and revenue. Bigger is generally better. Players are available in the 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratio. However, advertisers prefer the 16:9 aspect ratio so go with this format if you’re looking to maximize your revenue.
Native video player sizes:
- Standard 4:3 (320×240)
- Widescreen 16:9 (320×180)
- Standard 4:3 (448×336)
- Widescreen 16:9 (426 x 240) 240p
- Standard 4:3 (576×432)
- Widescreen 16:9 (640×360) (360p)
- Widescreen 16:9 (854×480) (480p)
- 1280×720 (720p) in full-screen mode
400px wide is the minimum recommended size to access strong advertising demand and high CPMs. Larger units usually provide the highest revenue however, placement and viewability (time on screen) are also important factors to consider.
Native video placement and viewability
Native video players can be positioned in your sidebar or within the main content of your pages. The best position for your player will depend on your traffic patterns and site layout. To achieve high CPMs, set up your unit for maximum viewability.
In general, large video players get higher viewability scores. For example, a 2560×1440 unit has a 95% viewability rate on average whereas a 854×480 unit has an 88% viewability rate. A video ad is considered viewable when 50% of the unit is on screen for at least 2 seconds.
In article on mobile
This is the standard placement for video units on mobile devices. Since users usually scroll quickly through mobile content, enabling a sticky or float function allows publishers to keep the video unit on screen for longer. This results in higher viewability scores and ad revenue.
In article on desktop
The main benefit of placing your video unit within the article or main content area of your site is that you can access a wide variety of player sizes. Larger players generally lead to higher CPMs so this can allow you to maximize your revenue.
However, users usually scroll through article content quickly and push the player off screen. To increase viewability, publishers can use a float function. This creates a mini-player in the bottom corner of the user’s screen when the larger player is no longer in view.
Sticky sidebar on desktop
These units can provide a good user experience as the player remains fixed throughout the user’s visit. The downside is most sites have a small sidebar so the size of the player is often less than 400px wide. This can lead to decreased advertising demand and lower CPMs.
Out-steam vs in-stream native video
In-stream native video
In-stream native video players deliver ads before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the video content requested by the user. These units balance content with advertising. In-stream is popular with users and the best choice if you are looking to increase user engagement and time-on-site along with revenue. These units can show up to 10 ads if users continue to watch the content.
Publishers with existing video content, such as a YouTube channel, generally opt for in-stream in order to monetize this content but publishers that don’t have video content can also use in-stream native video. Find out how to use native video if you don’t have any video content here.
Out-stream native video
Out-steam native video is an advertisement only format. The main purpose of these units is to maximize revenue. Out-stream video emerges from the middle of the page content and automatically plays a video ad. Users can skip over the ad by scrolling down the page. Out-stream units will keep rolling ads as long as the user’s screen is over the video unit. Up to 5 ads can be delivered and when no demand can be found the unit collapses.
These units are easy to set up and run compared to in-stream and are effective on sites with a large proportion of mobile traffic.
How does native video affect page load speeds?
Native video players today are significantly lighter and faster than previous versions. While native video will add a small delay to the page load, it’s also important to consider the increase in revenue that these units provide. Native video CPMs are generally 5-10x higher than CPMs for display ads.
Publishers also have the option to limit the number of player impressions per user. This means that after a certain number of impressions has been reached, the player will no longer load.
How to increase native video player revenue
The more advertising demand partners (ad networks and SSPs) you plug into your native video player, the higher your CMPs will be. These demand partners bid against each other in a auction environment, which pushes up the price of the ad space in your native video player.
Snigel’s AdEngine (our header bidding stack), has been plugged into all major ad networks and SSPs. This enables us to receive the maximum revenue for each impression. Check out the difference between header bidding and AdSense here or see our what is header bidding guide.
How to start with native video
Snigel’s in-stream and out-stream native video can work with any site. Just get in touch and our ad ops experts will set up and optimize a native video player to fit your site. Snigel’s partner websites retain full creative control, giving them the power to make changes at any time.
Here’s what SimpleFlying.com CEO Arran Rice said:
“Snigel has been a great partner for the monetization of my website. They act more like an extension of my team, rather than a typical monitization partner. New ideas are constantly suggested and the performance has been great.”