Jan 13, 2017

Slow your pre-roll: Short videos becoming less popular

Analytics firm Parse.ly finds that user engagement for posts with short video is significantly less than short-form posts, slideshows and long-form posts.


  1. Auto-play: Visitors are silencing or pausing videos because of the disruption
  2. Slow load times: Videos take longer to load, causing viewers to bounce
  3. Market saturation: Publishers are scrambling to create more pre-roll inventory

Digiday spoke with several publishers who echoed Parse.ly's findings, saying that short-form video views on Facebook have been cut in half, likely due to the fact that video is becoming cheaper to produce.

Smart take: The drive to create scalable video stems from business needs, not reader demand. Publishers can place high premiums on pre-roll ads because they sell out so quickly, particular among larger brands. The New York Times, for example, won't even offer advertisers the ability to geo-target pre-roll because it sells out so quickly at the national level, usually by the end of the summer.

What's next: Publishers will invest in alternative post formats.

  1. Live video: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, AOL and Instagram have all rolled out live video platforms in the past year. Facebook even recommends that users of their live platform run videos for at least ten minutes, in order to be algorithmically favored.
  2. Long-form posts: A 2016 Pew study found that while long-form and short-form posts have similar reach, users engage with long-form content more than twice as much as short-form posts.
  3. Slide shows: The Parse.ly study says slideshows are a cost-effective alternative to video. This is especially true for retail and fashion advertisers looking to display different attributes of products. Case-in-point: Parse.ly tells Axios that this Vogue Magazine slideshow of celebrities' outfits at the Met Gala last year was one of the most trafficked pieces of content on the internet in 2016.

Go deeper

Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices closed in correction territory on Thursday, down over 10% from their recent record-highs amid a global market rout.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 57 mins ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.