Facebook Live Streaming Will Soon Display Ads

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Facebook is currently experimenting with short advertisements that will play during breaks in live broadcasts, it confirmed to Adage. Facebook’s move of displaying short video ads during live broadcasts shouldn’t be a surprise for those who follow Facebook and its various video products.

Massive revenue potential for Facebook

Video promotions are profitable for the company, and a live product without advertisements would pass up a great opportunity for massive potential for ad revenue. So how will it work? That’s a little less clear. For now, the company is just letting “a small group of publishers” insert a short ad break in their Live videos. The ads can show up anywhere after five minutes into a live stream and can last up to 15 seconds.

During the beta, all ads appearing in live broadcasts will be taken from other promoted video campaigns effectively running on Facebook, the company reportedly told advertisers. But it’s safe to assume that if the test is successful, sponsors may soon be able to make custom ads to during Live broadcasts.

In recent years, the social network has moved to intensely support video. Two years ago, the  Silicon Valley firm overhauled its focus to rank videos directly uploaded on its network higher than other posts. This decision has resulted in massive success.

“We’re particularly pleased with our progress in video as we move towards a world where video is at the heart of all our services,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the earnings call.

How much control will video publishers have?

Adage reports that publishers can control the types of ads that can appear during their stream and turn it off if the ad is not a fit for the live feed (like a sensitive breaking news story). During the test time period, publishers may not get a portion of revenue generated from ads during their live broadcast. However, in the future, Facebook may pay revenue to publishers, depending on how it structures its Live ad product.

It’s also unclear if publishers will have the capacity to set an assigned “commercial break” in which all viewers see a promotion without a moment’s delay or if Facebook will randomly appropriate a Live stream with a 15-second ad. If it’s the former and publishers can set an assigned commercial break, it could end up being an ad product that publishers and content creators like.

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