News Corp. announced this morning at Cannes Lions the availability of a new viewable vertical video ad for mobile devices that can be bought initially on The Sun and The New York Post. The ad is an outstream format against vertical video content, plays only when in view and can be scrolled past. The ad appears with audio off, which viewers can toggle on. Viewability is measured by Moat per MRC standards.
The new unit is powered by ad tech provider Unruly, which News Corp acquired last September. The unit is available on iOS and Android. To further interest in vertical video, Unruly also announced the launch of the Vertical Video Collective, comprised of mobile-first content providers focused on vertical viewing.
Unruly also revealed data from a May, 2016 survey it conducted on mobile video usage and attitudes with 6,000 respondents across 11 countries. Unruly found that over 53% of respondents said it was annoying to turn their phone horizontally to watch full-screen video, with 34% using rotation lock on their phone to maintain vertical mode.
Respondents didn’t express a lot of love for mobile video ads in general, with nearly 50% of them saying they’re annoyed when forced to watch a video ad on their mobile device. Sound was even more bothersome, with 3/4 of respondents saying they stop watching when an ad plays with sound on.
All of this suggests the bar remains high for mobile video ads to work effectively as part of an outstanding viewer experience. But with more vertical video coming on the market all the time, it’s inevitable that ads are here to stay and that advertisers and publishers will be working hard to figure out the optimal experience.