Mid-Roll: Monetize Long-Form Video Content with Mediavine

food blogger cooking in front of camera

In this Year, Decade, Century of Video, Mediavine is forever committed to supporting publishers’ various — and evolving — video needs.

Whether it’s adding more header bidding partners, or introducing new ad experiences such as video overlays, our Universal Player and the mid-roll feature we’re unveiling today, we’re always exploring new avenues.

Leif Lessons

  • NEW VIDEO FEATURE ALERT: The Mediavine Video Player will support mid-roll ads on videos longer than 8 minutes.
  • This feature will be live on Monday, November 23rd and all publishers are automatically opted in. However, you can opt out now in your Dashboard under Settings.
  • Our Video Multiple Ad Playlist technology will place ads throughout your video automatically, within Coalition for Better Ads guidelines.
  • The earnings from this new feature will vary, depending on how long your audience views your long form video content.
  • Short-form video (our recommended length is 0:45 – 1:00) will monetize better than long, so make sure you turn on Universal Player. Your long-form videos should be used only in click-to-play players.

One constant, until now, is that we’ve focused our efforts on short-form video, which is how we classify videos under a few minutes in duration.

Short-form video has been our focus for a simple reason: It represents the vast majority of the video content produced by our publishers.

male travel blogger taking photos on a DSLR camera on a tripod with cliffs and ocean behind him

Every site is different, but most Mediavine publishers have audiences who gravitate toward and consume short, web-friendly content.

However, as we’ve grown to more than 7,500 publishers, we’ve become a more diverse group with different readers and changing preferences.

We represent many YouTube-style bloggers, who often present long-form content to their audiences on their own websites.

From a monetization perspective, these blogs present some challenges and have revealed the limitations of our short form approach.

Up until now, since we could only run one ad per video and ads between videos in your custom video playlists, we’d encourage those publishers to run YouTube embeds.

No longer!

Starting Monday, November 23rd, we’re proud to announce that the Mediavine Video Player has added support for mid-roll advertisements.

What are Mid-Roll Advertisements?

Mid-roll ads are what they sound like — video ads that run in the middle of video content, as opposed to pre-roll, which run before the video starts.

These are the closest thing to traditional TV commercials, and online, the concept may be familiar to many users who have experienced similar advertisements on platforms like Facebook.

Now, thanks to changes by the Coalition for Better Ads which established mid-roll guidelines for longer-form content, they’re present on YouTube —and starting Monday, November 23rd, the Mediavine Video Player.

The Coalition for Better Ads standards for these ads are surprisingly simple: you can only run mid-roll on videos longer than 8 minutes.

That’s it. Anything eight minutes or longer is considered long-form content, and eligible to include mid-roll ads.

vlogger in blue sweater presenting to a DSLR camera on a tripod

How Often Will Mid-Roll Ads Run?

Mediavine uses technology known as VMAP (Video Multiple Ad Playlist) to place multiple ads throughout your video.

This technology works by using timestamps, or basically marking spots where there could be a commercial break in your video.

Currently, we automatically place these breaks for publishers and they’ll appear at certain timestamps throughout the video.

From a user experience standpoint, we will make sure that if a user is bouncing around, they won’t see two ads too closely together.

Remember, mid-roll is brand new to Mediavine and we’ll be optimizing them for ad performance and UX over time.

How Much Will Mid-Roll Advertisements Earn?

While some advertisers prefer pre-roll to mid-roll, you’ll see roughly the same rates for mid-roll ads as with “regular” video inventory.

For this reason, we’re combining the two into a singular ad unit in your Mediavine Dashboard reporting.

Ultimately, of course, how much you earn will depend on how long your users are watching your long-form videos.

As we said earlier, every website is different and longer videos won’t necessarily mean more ad views if your audience isn’t watching them.

If you post a 30-minute video and users watch the entire thing, you can run (and earn significant revenue from) multiple mid-roll advertisements.

However, if readers only stick around for two minutes of that 30-minute video, you won’t serve any additional ads at all.

Bottom line: If short-form video content is working for your website and your audience, then keep doing what you’re doing.

If you already post, or think you can produce, long-form video content with high engagement, now you can monetize it even more effectively!

woman doing make-up in front of a camera

Where Should You Run Long Form Video?

It’s worth considering that even if your users consume long-form video on your YouTube channel, that may not translate to your website.

This is why we recommend that your featured video, or ideally featured playlists, are still made of short-form content.

Think of 45- to 60-seconds-long videos as the sweet spot. Most sessions are less than two minutes, especially when users arrive on your site from outside social media and referral traffic.

Your goal should be to get those visitors to watch two short videos, as opposed to a short portion of a long-form video.

Ultimately, short-form content will still monetize better due to our Up Next feature and the ability to show ads between short videos.

So where should you feature long-form video content? We recommend keeping it as a click-to-play option inside your content, while while activating Universal Player.

This will ensure that users who want to watch your long-form content can do so, and are willing to stick around to do it.

For most publishers, and most sessions, you’re likely better off with a shorter video, so make the longer videos click-to-play.

This way, you’re working towards the perfect balance of offering longer form content to users that want it, and optimizing your earnings from those readers, while still maximizing short-form video revenue.

How can I opt out?

Mediavine publishers are opted in to these units by default, but can opt out in the Mediavine Dashboard under Video Settings.

midroll settings location in the mediavine dashboard
To opt out of mid-roll ads in your Mediavine Dashboard, go to Settings > Video > Enable Mid-Roll.

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