Video Monetization: Best Practices for Publishers

Video Monetization: Best Practices for Publishers
When it comes to monetizing videos, publishers need to stay on top of emerging technologies and best practices. Video monetization can be tricky, but is worth it considering the large investment of time and money that is inherent in video content creation

Quality content that resonates with a target audience takes a lot of time and investment to create, so it’s important to leverage that content as much as you can and give it the best opportunity to return on that investment.

Download the complete guide to video monetization

Below we'll go over a few actionable hints and tips publishers can use to monetize their video in 2019.

Prioritizing Viewability

Advertisers are looking for effective messaging, and this cannot be achieved if the users will not see their ads. Viewability is defined as a video being at least 50% viewable on the user’s screen and playing for at least 2 seconds. In terms of monetization for the publisher, it is a simple equation; better viewability = higher revenue. Many advertiser campaigns will not even bid on unviewable opportunities.

As a publisher, there are a few measures you can take to improve viewability with direct impact on user experience: 

Tech - Pay close attention to the loading times of your page and the video player. By increasing the speed at which a video is loaded, the viewability is directly impacted, as there are more chances for the user to actually view it. 

A responsive website and video player optimized for mobile devices does the same. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend will surpass TV in the largest ad market this year and it will account for 69.9% of all digital advertising.  Optimizing your website for mobile in particular has been shown to increase viewability rates, due to the smaller screen size when compared to desktop.

Content - Know your audience, and serve them relevant content that they will want to consume. This will make it more likely to keep your users engaged with your videos and thereby create viewable opportunities to serve ads.

Placement - When it comes to video player placement, looking at your metrics will be very useful. Choose your most trafficked web pages and test placing dedicated video placements on them. Follow best practices, but test and optimize whatever placements you can. 

Centering your video player in a prominent, well-trafficked area on your website will expose it to more viewers, increasing the viewability rate.

You may be surprised to find out, for example, that while above-the-fold can be reserved as premium inventory, below-the-fold can prove just as viable of an option for buyers, depending on the content of the page. Understanding the way your users are consuming your content is the key.

Size - Video player size can also be a significant factor. According to our research of millions of video impressions at Primis, increasing a player's size improves the viewability rate by approximately 15%, which can lead to an estimated 25% increase in CPM. 

Keep in mind that location remains paramount regardless of size. So, you can have a larger player, but, if it's located where users can't see it, it will not necessarily generate higher revenue.  

Video Header Bidding

After you’ve established your relationships with your demand partners, Video Header Bidding is one of the best options to grow and maximize the revenue you can make with them. Unlike the traditional waterfall method, which calls the demand partners one by one, header bidding sends parallel asynchronous requests, giving an equal shot to your demand partners to bid on the opportunity to serve an ad.

The process includes finding a Header Bidding vendor and placing their wrapper (snippet of Javascript code) on your webpage, which will send bid requests to multiple demand partners at once. In most cases the SSPs and Ad Exchanges on the receiving side of the bid have themselves multiple demand partners bidding for the opportunity. The highest bid will win the option to serve an ad on your site and the whole process should take up to three seconds. 

Download the complete guide to video monetization

Using header bidding often increases overall revenue by giving the option for lower tier partners to bid on the opportunity along with high tier partners, thereby generating the highest possible CPM. The method can also help you discover the small, but still quality, partners that can generate nice revenue. Header bidding can also generate higher fill rates for each opportunity, as you have all partners competing, which ensures greater demand coverage.


Regardless of which approach you use, waterfall or header bidding, it's important to constantly prune your demand sources. 

This means looking at the metrics and deprioritizing or removing any demand sources with high opt-out/time-out rates. If you are sticking to the waterfall method, this means pushing the low-quality demand sources further down the waterfall. 

Keeping Up With Video Monetization

Getting the most out of displaying videos on your website requires some strategic planning in terms of content and placement. But, no less important is choosing the best monetization methods that fit your needs, and ongoing vetting of the partners and methods you are using. 

Remember, in a constantly changing monetization and publishing landscape you must always keep updated with the latest technological innovations to get the most out of your digital assets.