Facebook expands test for in-stream ads on Live

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Advertisers concerned with brand safety can choose to exclude ads from appearing in Live content.

Facebook is expanding its test of in-stream ads in Facebook Live to more verticals, including “pre-vetted entertainment, news and sports partners,” the company announced this week. The test is designed to help evaluate whether or not the ad format is effective before rolling it out more broadly.

For now, Facebook is piloting in-stream ads with only a select number of publishers. The limited test will help determine if pre-vetted content creators are able to successfully monetize their live video streams with in-stream ads.

How it works. When watching Live content from a creator included in the test, viewers might see a range of ad formats, including:

  • A pre-roll ad that runs before the live stream
  • An image ad that appears below the live stream
  • A mid-roll ad that plays in the main video player during the live stream while the broadcast continues playing in a shrunken window

Ads play in the main video player during the live stream. Source: Facebook

Brand safety controls for advertisers. When setting up campaigns in Ads Manager, advertisers will have an option to exclude ad placements from live streams. Advertisers can also add certain publishers to a blocklist in order to prevent ad delivery on either Live or Video on Demand content from a creator.

For further brand safety control, advertisers can enable the “Limited” Inventory Filter to block ads from more sensitive content. This option automatically blocks ads from appearing in live streams.

Why we care. Up until now, Facebook has been testing the new in-stream product exclusively with gaming developers in Live. Now that it’s rolling out to more verticals (entertainment, news, and sports), advertisers across the spectrum could see an uptick in impressions with the in-stream Live format – especially now as people seek virtual ways to experience their favorite live moments.

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