What is Instream Video?

Instream video is an advertising term which defines the placement of video advertisements in correlation to the original content a consumer decided to watch. This video ad type consists of three separate formats: pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll video advertisements. They are typically 6, 10, 15, 30 or 60 seconds long, and can be skipped after 5 seconds.

Instream video ads are played before the original content, in the middle of it, and at the end of it. Each format has best-case uses. Pre Roll video ads are best for increasing brand awareness. MidRoll ads are typically used for messages requiring engagement and patience. Finally, Post Roll video advertisements are used by advertisers to add more value after branded content and increasing conversions with strategically placed CTAs.

In addition to linear ads (Pre Roll, MidRoll and Post Roll ads), instream video ads can also be non-linear or companion video ads. Non-linear ads run simultaneously with original content, and they’re typically image, text or video overlays. Companion video ads are companions to either linear or non-linear ads, and they typically contain branding characteristics.

Instream video ads are sold on a CPM or CPV (Cost per View) basis where advertisers pay for complete views or actions consumers take. Their main benefits for advertisers is the consumers’ level of engagement – consumers are less likely to skip the ad if it’s related to the original video content and engaging enough.