- To ensure video ads remain in view, publishers are applying a tactic, referred to as "sticky videos," in which video players are pinned to the website visitor's screen so the ad remains viewable even while scrolling to a different part of the webpage.
- Some publishers relying on "sticky videos" to display video ads include CNN, Daily Mail and Washington Post.
- Videos displayed using this strategy usually feature an ad before the editorial content in the video runs.
Video advertising is a booming aspect of online advertising, but viewability has been an ongoing concern for marketers, and in the online ad community in general. AppNexus' Q3 Digital Advertising Index noted this concern, pointing out in the report, “Many of our industry’s most prominent members have shifted their attention to tackling challenges like viewability and bot traffic.”
In an effort to meet the viewability challenge and make sure video ads stay in front of website visitors, publishers are using a tactic called “sticky videos.” The tactic separates the video player from the webpage and "sticks" it to the desktop so that it stays in front of website visitors' eyes as they move to other portions of the page.
CNN's video ads, for example, run automatically at the top of a webpage, and if the website visitor scrolls past the video it shrinks and hovers in the top-right corner of the browser window.
Although publishers’ statements about “sticky video” players tend to focus on improving the user experience, the main result is the players improve video ad viewability rates.
A Washington Post spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal, “This player was designed to help improve the viewability of our ads and we expect a significant increase.” A spokesperson from the Daily Mail echoed that sentiment saying its floating video player, introduced earlier this year, has positively affected video viewability rates.
But publishers aren't the only ones using this strategy. This summer Facebook rolled out a floating videos function, through which users can detach videos from their news feed, allowing them to simultaneously watch the video and scan their feed.