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Sara Fischer Jan 13, 2017
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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.

Why?

  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.