Inside the Daily Mail’s shift to video
The Daily Mail, like many publishers reliant on display ads, has been shifting quickly to video. The news and entertainment publisher has managed to double its video views on its site over the past year, mostly this is through adding related, licensed video content into articles.
For instance, this article about a great white shark heading for a surfer in Australia has the video embedded at the top, followed by text and eight images. Publishers have different approaches to working out video. For the Mail, it’s scale. It pumps out dozens of videos a day on its main site and drives revenue mainly through pre-roll ads from brands like Nissan and Virgin Atlantic.
“We are written and image content at our core, but we’re aware users consume news and entertainment through video,” said head of video, Matthew Breen. “Now every article has some form of video within it.”
Outside Daily Mail Online, Tubular Labs calculates it has had 1.5 billion video views in January, mostly from Facebook, making it the fifth-biggest channel by views globally. “We want to make sure we can reach new video consumers and grow our footprint,” said Breen.
By comparison, there’s a little original video content. It produced 69 Facebook Live videos in January, according to Newswhip data, as well as some original videos on YouTube. Instead, it entices advertisers to co-create branded content by showing it can reach billions of monthly views. Whether branded video can reach these views counts is another matter.
Early signs have been favorable. In December, it ran a video campaign with M&S, producing five videos about cooking Christmas food, like this one on three recipes using mince pies, each about a minute long, which it ran in a new branded content video auto-playing player on the homepage. “We wanted to focus on our heartland, which is the right hand rail, where users engage most,” said Breen.
It took just three days for each video to reach 1 million views on desktop, according to the publisher, which is charging £90,000 ($112,000) for 1 million views. It’s a steep price tag, but it’s counting views at 10 seconds (which Facebook has started offering as a metric for publishers too). Five brands are close to signing campaigns that will run in the next two months.
“From feedback from clients, we heard they wanted to deliver a creative message in more than three seconds [the length it takes for Facebook to count a view],” said Breen.
“It’s a hybridizing video with display, retrograding video into a MPU,” said Philip Byrne, branded video consultant at The Native Network. “People aren’t necessarily clicking on it, but does that really matter when you have this scale?” Ultimately, for many advertisers, it’s still a numbers game. Equally, the Mail has designed its site in a way that keeps readers clicking on more content. According to SimilarWeb, the average time per visit is nearly four minutes, more than news publishers The Guardian, The Sun and The Independent, by SimilarWeb data.
For The Daily Mail, the core team working on sponsored content is six commissioning editors, led by Anne Shooter, commercial editor, who set up the team two and a half years ago. Depending on the project, the editors pull on resource from the rest of the organization, making for a nimble team. It was unwilling to give out exact video or sales-team sizes.
But David Counsell, digital trading director at The 7 Stars, said The Daily Mail has recruited well to drive its video views and monetization. “It will continue to see that grow with the larger CPMs available here from advertisers,” he added.
“If it’s a choice between sitting through a lengthy pre-roll you have already seen on TV versus native player on homepage, then they are going in the right direction,” said Byrne. “At least, it’s serving value to readers quickly.”
Image: courtesy of The Daily Mail via Facebook.
Member ExclusiveFuture of TV Briefing: Free, ad-supported streaming TV bubble nears an inflection point
The free, ad-supported streaming TV market has quickly expanded to the point of becoming overgrown.
‘We will be on even higher alert’: TV, streaming news outlets prepare for an unpredictable Inauguration Day
TV and streaming news networks will not only be on guard for breaking news but for the safety of their reporters and crew members on the ground in Washington, D.C.
‘It’s go time’: Revolt to debut ad-supported streamer focused on Black culture, social justice in Q1
The Sean Combs-founded TV network’s focus on Black culture and recent emphasis on social justice coverage may help it to stand out in a crowded streaming market.
SponsoredThe evolution of shoppable content lies in social media streams
With the physical and social aspects of shopping stripped away due to various lockdown restrictions around the globe, shoppable social media is poised to fill the void. In a recent example, Instagram launched its Reels and Shop tab for users to connect with brands and creators — and to discover products. The social media platform will […]
Member ExclusiveFuture of TV Briefing: The ad-supported streaming war officially kicks off in 2021
Hulu will likely remain the dominant ad-supported service, but TV networks’ standalone streamers will give free services a run for advertisers’ money.
‘We’ve unfortunately had too much practice’: TV, streaming advertisers have grown accustomed to pulling ads when bad news breaks
The TV and streaming ad industry has developed built-in mechanisms to remove advertisers in breaking news events like a violent mob overtaking the U.S. Capitol building.