Aug. 25, 2017 by Sara Jabbari

Top Benefits of Premium Video Content

What is “premium” video?

Although what constitutes “premium video” is not unanimously defined, premium video is  recognized as content of superior quality that is professionally produced. Most user-generated videos are generally of low quality and can be created by anyone, but premium content comes from trusted sources, created to engage targeted audiences. According to The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, Europe, premium video is “professionally produced content delivered via curated user experiences in a brand-safe context to highly engaged audiences.” Because it provides a meaningful user experience that meets viewer expectations, it is therefore highly monetizable, making it an attractive inventory for advertisers and publishers.

How does premium video benefit advertisers?

Premium video inventory is largely situated on reputable, big publisher sites. Advertisers thus benefit from the large audience of premium publishers by increasing their reach. Unlike platforms filled with user-generated and low quality content, these sites provide a lower concern for brand safety, an issue that has been gaining more attention recently. As the safe environment of premium video reduces the possibility of negative brand perception, it has increasingly become a valuable inventory for advertisers.

The value of this high-calibre content to viewers justifies the placement of premium video ads, which advertisers can serve pre, mid and post premium video content. This inventory typically commands high CPMs, but advertisers are willing to invest their dollars because they know that their consumers receive an engaging, premium video experience.

Unlike other types of ads, in-stream video ads also benefit from high viewability, a top concern for advertisers. According to The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), premium video ad viewability has been shown to reach 77%, vs 63% for general video. Users can clearly see the content that they have opted for, and the ability of premium content to elicit user attention and engagement with the video content increases the completion rates of this inventory.

As a result of meeting many aspects of media quality, such as brand safety, viewability and user experience, it has become a cost-effective inventory for advertisers, and is where the majority of ad money is being spent. It is therefore no surprise that it suffers from a shortage of supply.

How can publishers increase premium video ad inventory?

With so many benefits to advertisers, demand for this ad space has outstripped supply, giving rise to other video ad formats such as out-stream units and in-banner videos that don't require existing video assets. These ads typically appear within or next to editorial content, but because they are not user-initiated, they are seen as intrusive and therefore less effective in holding user attention.

Recognizing the revenue opportunity of premium video inventory, many publishers have prioritized increasing their inventory through in-house production, especially as more and more tools and techniques to produce premium video at a low cost arise. Publishers like Mashable, Vice, Fox Sports and Men’s Health are focusing on upping their quality video output. Others have looked to syndication platforms and third-party video creators such as Video Elephant to supplement and scale their premium video content.

Premium video provides a rich viewing experience to consumers, a monetizable medium to publishers, and valuable returns to advertisers. As FreeWheel puts it, “not all video is created equal,” and those that recognize premium video “as a distinct and unique media channel” - and one that scores high on brand safety, viewability and user experience - will set the precedent of how video should be delivered, experienced and of course, enjoyed.

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