Facebook tests monetizing live video with mid-roll ads

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Facebook Live is taking a step into monetization territory, AdAge reports. The company has confirmed that it has begun testing mid-roll ads into live broadcasts from a handful of top publishers, with a company statement confirming, “We’re running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos.”

Call it a commercial break, if you will. But it’s supposed to be a motivational one, with the move encouraging top publishers to participate with the goal to eventually share revenue with them. At the present, however, they’re not being compensated for ads, but some were paid to live stream on the platform; now, they are helping test the new product.

Publishers have the ability to control which categories of advertisers can run ads in its channels, with ads appearing five minutes into a broadcast and lasting 15 seconds or less. Publishers can also opt out of ads altogether, which is possibly important to consider bearing in mind Facebook’s focus on live broadcasts during tragedies.

Mid-roll may be the only step for Facebook–pre-roll is likely out, as Mark Zuckerberg finds pre-roll ads to detract from the user experience. Giving a mid-roll break quite literally gives those who live stream the ability to take a break from within the stream and to pick up right where they have left off, without users missing much of a beat.

But now, it’s a question of whether there are substantial enough metrics to support this kind of initiative. Time will tell. With Facebook testing the platform with publishers, it’ll likely give them the ability to begin validating whether it’s a worthwhile venture and to build the tools to support it.

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