How one publisher is working around Facebook’s pre-roll ad ban
Facebook has become a video juggernaut for publishers, racking up tons of views. It has not yet become a revenue source, however, as videos uploaded to Facebook cannot carry ads. At least they’re not supposed to.
NewsBeat Social, a distributed news organization that produces 70 one-minute videos a day, is doing an end run. Recently, the 35-person outfit posted videos (below) about the Nepal earthquakes and “Grey’s Anatomy” fandom.
Nepal quake survivor drank his own urine while trapped for 82 hours under rubble #NewsBeatWorldnbs.io/1dttUb3
Posted by NewsBeat Social on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans start petition to get a beloved character back #NewsBeatTVnbs.io/1dt8BGA
Posted by NewsBeat Social on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
NewsBeat Social’s founder, Stanley Fields, prides the outlet on providing unbiased hard news that’s viewable around the world. “We only do news,” he said. “We’re not doing funny cat videos. Just hard news. You’re on a slippery slope when you start to get into opinions.”
NewsBeat Social’s primary outlet is Facebook, where it has 2.3 million Facebook fans. The company uses New Brave World, an ad rep firm, to sell its ad inventory. Through New Brave World, NewsBeat Social has been selling pre-roll video ads on its Facebook-bound videos. Jordan English, founder of New Brave World, said NewsBeat Social has been running ads for IBM and Intel and that a campaign for Visa is on the way.
There’s a problem here. Facebook prohibits third-party ads on its pages, per its published guidelines.
NewsBeat Social’s pitch to brands is its high-quality video with demographic data on who’s watching and clicking through, according to English. He said the publisher also can target ads to specific categories of news. “Brands are really hungry for this type of content,” he said.
NewsBeat Social’s pitch is curious, considering Facebook prohibits publishers from directly selling pre- or post-roll video ads. Until now, Facebook’s publishers’ video ad strategy has been limited to tests of ads run against video with Fox Sports and the NFL, with Facebook splitting the revenue with Fox and the NFL. In a related move, Facebook also has announced Facebook Anthology, a program that would enlist publishers with branded content expertise to create video ads for brands that would run on Facebook.
And for some time, Facebook has allowed publishers to upload posts they’ve created on behalf of brands, or native ads. But it has not permitted not branded video ads, although some have slipped through. Facebook has a lot of clips to police — it records 4 billion video views a day. But it’s shut down publishers’ attempts to run pre-or post-roll video ads when it becomes aware of them, and it may be only a matter of time before it does just that with NewsBeat Social.
Asked how the publisher is apparently skirting Facebook’s rules, English said, “I can assure you that [NewsBeat Social] is in compliance [with Facebook] policies. I’m hesitant to outline the exact ad ops process because I don’t want to accidentally give away any of their trade secrets or spell out the process for their competitive set.”
Asked about NewsBeat Social situation, Facebook declined to comment beyond pointing to its policy. “Third-party advertisements on Pages are prohibited, without our prior permission,” the policy states.
NewsBeat Social is using Kaltura, a video tech platform, to upload its clips to Facebook. Kaltura enables publishers to serve their videos on a range of platforms in addition to Facebook, and Lisa Bennett, managing director of PR and marketing there, and it’s up to the publishers to stay in line with the respective platforms’ rules.
“We always make sure we tell publishers they need to adhere to the guidelines,” she said. “We’re definitely not bypassing them or anything like that.” She said Kaltura has talks with Facebook revolving around distribution and technology, but that she’s unaware of any effort by Facebook to crack down on violations of its ad policy.
Meantime, NewsBeat Social is looking into other ways of making money from its videos outside of Facebook, starting with expanding its presence on YouTube. “We’re trying to be platform-agnostic as we build our brand,” said Tyler Peterson, COO.
Image courtesy of NewsBeat Social.
Why The New York Times’ Wirecutter is ramping up focus on style
In early 2021, Wirecutter soft-launched a new dedicated style section and is is currently hiring for style-dedicated roles.
Maven rebrands to The Arena Group and reorganizes around sports and finance
The Arena Group owns and hosts the domains of over 200 sites and generated $143 million in revenue for the year ending June 30, 2021.
‘Culture change takes years’: Facing ongoing calls for DE&I gains, publishers set new standards for hiring practices
The media industry is trying to solve a long-standing challenge: it is mostly white and male. Here's how some publishers are doing it.
SponsoredHow retailers can be ready for holiday shoppers this year
Suchi Sastri, managing director and partner, Boston Consulting Group As the holiday season approaches and the pandemic continues to evolve, retailers want to know what to expect. Will e-commerce continue to grow at the rate it did last year? How big of a role will in-store shopping play in holiday shopping? While it’s still early, […]
Meet the ‘absolutist’ with the Section 230 tattoo on Google’s new misinformation policy team
Part of a nascent government affairs and public policy team at Google, Jess Miers is a die-hard fan of the 26-word law that gives legal cover to big tech platforms.
‘A perfect time for someone like me to be in this role’: Maria Reeve is breaking barriers at the Houston Chronicle
Maria Reeve didn’t set out to become the first person of color to oversee the Houston Chronicle’s newsroom. But now that she is, she’s making it count.