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Future of TV Social Media Media Planning and Buying

Facebook now a ‘credible competitor’ to TV as it releases new in-stream video stats


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

April 26, 2021 | 4 min read

Facebook has claimed it is now a ”a very credible competitor” to broadcast TV and other ad-supported video media channels, as it touts a ”new era” of in-stream video inventory to brands.


Facebook has released new statistics for its in-stream video inventory

Ian Edwards, global connections planning director at Facebook, told The Drum that the platform’s in-stream video content (video ads that play before other video content) reaches 2 billion people every month.

“Facebook is now a very credible competitor and option for video advertising, especially given that 2 billion people watch in-stream eligible videos every month,” he said.

”In addition, 70% of in-stream standalone video ad views are completed globally. The beauty of our in-stream video ad placement is the ability to target relevant audiences in an easy and innovative way. With new features such as Video Topics, this means that advertisers can now be even more specific with their topic targeting than on other channels.”

Facebook expanding in-stream capabilities

  • Facebook has expanded its topic targeting options as it moves into a ’new era’ of in-stream video. Over 20 topics and 700 sub-topics are available for in-stream only video; advertisers that choose a topic can place their ad in content tagged by users and creators with that topic.

  • According to Facebook, over 2 billion users watch in-stream eligible videos every month.

  • It claims that, globally, 70% of in-stream standalone video ad views are completed and that adding in-stream to feed posts and Stories led to a 1.5-times increase in ad recall and a median 20% decrease in cost per incremental recaller for advertisers.

  • The company says Instragram will be testing ads for Reels, its dedicated short-form video feature, in India, Brazil, Germany and Australia in coming months. Facebook says 90% of people on Instagram follow a business.

  • Slots of up to 30 seconds will be available for mobile-first and full screen ads.

  • The platform will also begin testing Sticker Ads for Stories on Facebook in the US, enabling brands and influencers to monetize Stories content.

Short-form video expansion on the cards

  • Discussing the platform’s plans to develop its video inventory, Edwards highlighted short-form environments such as Reels and Stories.

  • ”Shorter form videos have been integral to Facebook’s video ad inventory from day one and are now fast becoming the creator content of choice. Video experiences on Facebook and Instagram exist in diverse formats across our apps and services, each offering distinct viewer and ad experiences.

  • “People can discover new ideas with short-form video – like News Feed, Stories and Reels – and spend more time with topics they care about with long-form video, like Live, Facebook Watch and IGTV, our dedicated tabs on Facebook and Instagram. Using a combination of our video solutions, brands can make relevant connections where people are viewing video online.”

From late April until early May, The Drum is taking a deep dive into what’s in store for the small screen as we launch our Future of TV hub.

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