Guide to Outstream Video Ads for Publishers

March 16, 2021

What is an Outstream Video?

With the increase in users worldwide interacting with technology via apps and mobile devices, outstream video ads, which Teads describes as 'the new wave of video advertising', have become a game-changer for digital publishers.

Outstream video ads, also known as 'in-read' or 'native video', are ads that appear within non-video based editorial content. Previously, users only saw video ads within video-based content, such as YouTube, where ads would pop-up pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll. Now, due to technological advancements, publishers can use video ads that lie outside of video players.

Besides offering an ad format that publishers can use besides video content on their sites, outstream videos provide a far less intrusive ad unit, with the ads playing without sound. This means the video outstream begins muted, allowing the audience the opportunity to play the ad with sound only if they choose.

What Are the Types of Outstream Video Ad?

There are three main formats of outstream ads, each with its own unique characteristics, placements and benefits.

Types of Outstream Ads
Source: Cronbid


An in-page Outstream video ad consists of a customized video player that is placed on the webpage to exclusively play video ads.


In-banner ads are eye-catching ads that generally sit at the top of the webpage and often include subtitles as they are playing.


In-text ads are designed to appear as the user scrolls through the article. They generally appear around 50% into the article to ensure the highest audience engagement.

Instream vs Outstream Video Ads: What’s the Difference?

In the past, digital video advertising generally referred to the ads that would run on existing video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. These ad formats are known as instream ads, and up until recently, they largely dominated the digital advertising space.

In 2018, however, Google announced the introduction of outstream videos ads, a format initially built for the mobile environment, which 'drive incremental, cost-efficient and viewable reach beyond YouTube'.

Outstream videos are a form of native advertising that involves a large-format video player that emerges within the page content as the viewer scrolls.

Outstream video content is easier to set up than instream advertising and offers a far less intrusive experience for the user.

Disruption vs Integration

Given 66% of US users hate when they press play and see a pre-roll video ad automatically playing with sound, Google needed to find a solution to instream ads, moving from disruption to integration.  

Instream videos appear pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll, without the ability for the user to stop the content as the ad plays. This, by its very nature, is a disruption to the audience as they view content on the web.

By contrast, outstream video content allows the user to scroll past the ad if they are not interested and continue to read the content, allowing them to return to watch the video content if they choose.

This move to a more integrated approach makes it an excellent option for news sites.

Quality and Scale

In a digital ecosystem increasingly driven via social channels, there has been a significant increase in User Generated Content (UGC), which has critical challenges for instream advertisers. As fake news, data breaches, and fraud are on the rise, brands and advertisers need to be increasingly vigilant about who they partner with.

Outstream ad placements allow publishers more control over quality and scale, and by choosing a trusted partner, they can ensure they avoid problematic content and any associated risks.

How to know if Outstream Video Ads Are Right For Your Website

Campaign Benefits of Outstream vs Instream Formats Source: Teads
Source: Teads

While both instream and outstream video advertising have their advantages, how can publishers know if outstream video ads are a suitable format for their website?

The above diagram demonstrates the campaign benefits of the Outstream video format:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Increased purchases- both online and instore
  • Ability to target key consumers
  • Increase in brand appeal
  • Extended TV campaign reach

Furthermore, a recent study by MarketingLand found that click-through rates (CTR) for outstream placements were about 2.5 percent higher than the average instream CTR.

Benefits of Outstream Video Ads for publishers

According to Pubmatic, video will account for 30.5% of overall display ad spend in 2021, or $61.3 billion.

The Washington Post, Forbes, CBS are all using outstream video ad formats, and BuzzFeed claimed in 2016 that video advertising was making up 50% of their entire revenue.

Along with the obvious economic benefits, benefits of outstream video advertising include the following:

  • While instream video ads require a video player, such as YouTube, to be displayed, outstream content works for publishers that don't have existing online video on their website.
  • Whereas instream video ads interrupt the videos in which they play, outstream video ads allow the viewer to scroll or skip the ad during the stream
  • Unlike instream video ads which always play with sound, as video ads outstream, they are automatically muted
  • While instream video campaigns must adhere to strict content requirements, outstream is a far more customizable video ad format

Disadvantages of Outstream Video Ads

While there is no doubt the outstream video advertising market is the fastest-growing ad format in the digital ecosystem, like everything, it can have its disadvantages.

Outstream Ads Can Be Difficult To Monetize

Native video ads are certainly paying dividends for large publishers. However, smaller publishers who are just starting launching an outstream campaign may take longer to see results. It will take time and effort to ensure the ads are optimized for maximum profits, and results-publishers shouldn't expect this to happen overnight.

Can Still Be Intrusive

Although outstream campaigns are designed to be non-intrusive, if publishers don't follow best practice, ads can still be deemed intrusive, and Google Chrome will filter them out.

However, by following the standards set out by The Coalition For Better Ads, smaller publishers should be able to avoid such issues.

How to Get Started with Outstream Video Ads

There is no doubt that outstream video ads will be an increasing source of revenue for digital publishers moving into the future.

However, particularly for smaller sites, it can be challenging to navigate some of the finer aspects of the format and see immediate benefits.

Ready to boost your ad revenue and grow your business?

Our friendly team at Publift are experienced in all aspects of video advertising are happy to answer any of your questions.

Reach out to us today to learn more.

Related Article: Top 13 Video Ad Networks for Publishers

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