Yahoo's New Autoplay Video Ads Will Only Cost Advertisers After 3 Seconds

Video Spots Will Play on Yahoo's Home Page, Digital Magazines, Mobile Apps

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Yahoo is adding new 'native' video ads to its sites' content feeds.
Yahoo is adding new 'native' video ads to its sites' content feeds.

Yahoo will make its formal pitch for advertisers' digital video budgets next week during its NewFronts presentation. But the portal is also making a play for that money this week.

Yahoo is rolling out new so-called native video ads that will play automatically on mute and appear on its home page, digital magazines like Yahoo Food and Yahoo Beauty and its mobile apps.

While billed as a new ad format, Yahoo's native video ads appear to be more of an offshoot of the first native ad unit, called Stream Ads, that the company launched under CEO Marissa Mayer. Those stream ads are image-and-text entries that appear within its sites' content feeds and look roughly the same as the image-and-text article entries also included in those feeds.

Yahoo has been adding to the type of content running within these content feeds, most recently adding videos that play automatically within the feed. Yahoo's native video ads are the paid version of that and potentially more lucrative than the cheap text-based native ads Yahoo has been selling.

As with the editorial videos appearing in its content feeds, Yahoo's native video ads will play automatically on mute. People will be able to unmute the videos and opt to view them in fullscreen.

Advertisers will be only charged if an ad has played for at least three seconds, which is what Yahoo counts as a view. That contrasts with Facebook, which also sells autoplay video ads but charges advertisers once a video starts playing.

Yahoo is also now allowing mobile app publishers to buy video app-install ads through its automated ad marketplace Yahoo Gemini on a self-serve basis. The company had announced these ads -- which are effectively trailers with links to download the apps and sold on a per-view basis -- in February at its mobile developer conference.

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