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Mobile Video Monthly #1 October 2018: new YouTube ad ratios, conversion windows and more!

This Mobile Video Monthly-series is inspired by the excellent ASO Monthly. We discuss the biggest news, changes, findings and trends when it comes to video in the mobile app space. This can be related to app store videos, user acquisition videos or other types of videos developers and publishers leverage to promote their apps.

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New square and vertical video ads on YouTube – Catching up

Whether it’s through YouTube for action ads or through Universal App Campaigns ads users are now going to be served square (1:1 ratio) and vertical (9:16 ratio) video ads in addition to the “historic” landscape (16:9 ratio) videos.

YouTube and UAC creative best practices
You can now use video ad creatives that have a ratio anywhere between 16:9 and 9:16

Google’s recommendation is clearly to upload different version of multiple videos across the recommended ratios.

YouTube square ad
An example of app install ad with a square video

Something important to remember when creating your non-landscape videos is that the YouTube player can automatically crop your video depending on users’ behavior. Google therefore recommends to avoid core messaging in the top 10% and bottom 25% of the video.

This is not unlike Facebook video ads where anything > 2:3 will be initially cropped in the user feed. Limiting the maximum portrait ratio to 2:3 (since everything between 16:9 and 2:3 is allowed) might also be a way to make sure the first impression of your ad won’t show a cropped video.

YouTube ads cropping
How video ads can be cropped based on user engagement

YouTube is experimenting with video ad extensions adding new call-to-actions – October 1

YouTube extended their TrueView for action ads by allowing some advertisers to have new types of call-to-actions like forms for lead generation, booking a trip or seeing movie showtimes.

YouTube ShowTimes

A few brands (Chili’s, 20th Century Fox, Maybelline and Vodafone) have been able to use the feature so far and YouTube confirmed that the extensions should be rolled-out soon to all advertisers.

Facebook putting Ads on Whatsapp – October 10

After introducing the “Status” feature in Whatsapp in February 2017, Facebook now announced that it will show ads to Whatsapp users in an upcoming release.

Since the Status feature is very similar to Instagram Stories, we expect these video ads to have the same format and best practices as Stories and Snap Ads.

Video ad spend growing the most in the UK – October 10

A recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK and PwC Digital shows that video ad spend has seen the most important growth amongst UK’s digital As Spend in the first half of 2018.

UK Digital ad spend video

You can find the full report/infographic here

Unskippable six-second video ads on Snapchat – October 10

In a move to add more original “scripted” content (12 daily scripted Original video shows) to the Discover section of the Snapchat app, the company also introduced unskippable six-second video ads. A new way to reach Snapchat users!

Digital video advertising expected to grow nearly 30% in 2018 – October 11

Another big year for video ads, with video ad spending making up 25% of US digital ad spending.

eMarketer Video Ads Facebook

It’s also interesting to note how predominant video is in Twitter ads and Snapchat ads.

Changes in how YouTube counts ad conversions – October 12

The attribution model for YouTube TrueView for action ads is changing. The default attribution window goes from 30 seconds with a 30-day conversion window to 10 seconds with a 3-day conversion window.

A viewer will therefore be considered engaged when a video ad is clicked or watched for at least 10 seconds. This means that the technique of “long call to actions” at the end of a 10+ seconds video is now useless (this was used previously so advertisers would not be charged for people not clicking on the ad that would drop out before the end of the video).

The attribution window remains 30 days if a user clicks on the ad.

Google A/B testing how promo videos are launched on the Play Store? – October 29

This was mentioned by Ilia from Appfollow on the ASO Stack Slack group. It seems that for a moment tapping on the video from the Play Store listing would open the video directly, without opening the YouTube app (i.e no YouTube logo displayed).

This would be great news, and here is how it looked.

We haven’t been able to reproduce this so it is most likely a test by Google.

That’s it for this month! Have we missed anything important related to mobile video? If so let us know in the comments below!

Sylvain Gauchet

Hi there, I'm Sylvain and I'm one of the co-founders of Apptamin. Apptamin is a creative agency specialized in app videos (video ads, app store videos, etc.) where we find engaging ways to present mobile apps and games so our clients can either increase their conversion rates or improve their user acquisition.

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