Google flirts with autoplay movie trailers in search results

Google is testing autoplay videos in search results.

Following the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, Google has added autoplay videos to search results for queries that return videos in the knowledge panel.

That’s according to the SEM Post.

Google sent The Drum the following statement: "We are constantly experimenting with ways to improve the search experience for our users, but have no plans to announce at this time."

Google also confirmed this is a short-term experiment with a small number of trailers - not ads - and it has no plans to roll it out further or make it a permanent feature.

SEM Post observed the feature when searching for movies like the Lego Ninjago Movie and the Justice League, but noted searches for TV shows could yield similar results.

SEM Post also said the queries that yielded autoplay videos were not specifically searching for videos. Results for searches for trailers, on the other hand, included the video in the main column. And, per the SEM Post, placement of the video varies from within the knowledge panel to beneath the Product Listing Ads.

The source of the video also varies – and doesn't include official sources, which SEM Post said could pose opportunities for brands.

Google autoplays the videos without sound when loading the search results page for desktop results only – and the videos only autoplay once. However, SEM Post also noted some browsers – and ad blockers – prevent auto play.

In related news, Pinterest told The Drum it is adding autoplay videos for advertisers in August.

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Lisa Lacy

Lisa Lacy is a senior reporter for The Drum, covering digital and search marketing. Based in New York, she writes about how brands use technology to connect with consumers, particularly as innovations like voice search, digital assistants and the Internet of Things change consumers’ lives forever – not to mention the data these platforms increasingly collect and the security and privacy issues therein. She is a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism. Her bucket list includes riding in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

All by Lisa