Feb 24, 2017

​Facebook tries out ads that act like TV commercials

Facebook announced Thursday they have begun testing mid-roll video ads, akin to TV commercials, in a series of formats, that all have major implications for how the tech giant plans to expand into a TV-like business.

  • Facebook has begun testing ad breaks for videos longer than 90-seconds on their platform. The ads will also be available for video content on Facebook's Audience Network, which is an extension of eyeballs across other websites and apps.
  • Facebook also announced they are expanding ad breaks to more publishers on Facebook Live. Publishers can now take 20-second ad breaks with the click of a button after 4 minutes of being live. They can take additional ad breaks every five minutes.
  • Lastly, Facebook is testing ad breaks in their on-demand video tab that is aimed to house premium content.

Why it matters:

  • Facebook's looking more like TV: Testing mid-roll ads on its on-demand platform brings Facebook one-step closer to creating an in-app television-like experience, in which they hope to steal TV ad dollars. Facebook accounted a TV-like cable box top app earlier this month, which will likely be monetized the same way.
  • Publishers will finally get paid: For the first time, publishers will be able to take a cut from video ads. Facebook said last year that its users watch 100 million hours of video per day, with a large portion coming from publishers who previously couldn't monetize their content. Facebook announced earlier this year that it would cease paying publishers to create Facebook Live video, which has many publishers saying they may abandon the platform altogether, unless a new monetization plan was introduced.
  • Quality control for Facebook: This is part of Facebook's push to control the quality of their content. Mid-roll ads will also encourage publishers to create longer video (more than 90 seconds) and better videos. The ads will only be played after a viewer views a video for at least 20 seconds.

Go deeper

Trump indulges Wall Street with Milken pardon

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Donald Trump loves Wall Street shenanigans. Companies owned by him have declared bankruptcy six different times, and he was once sued alongside Mike Milken for participating in a scheme to artificially inflate junk-bond prices.

Driving the news: Trump pardoned Milken this week, with an official statement positively gushing over Milken's role in developing the wilder side of fixed-income capital markets.

Situational awareness

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison
  2. Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout
  3. Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in $13 billion deal
  4. Coronavirus slams companies' 2020 sales projections
  5. Black activist group gives its first presidential endorsement to Elizabeth Warren

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health