Now on Tumblr, Autoplay Video Ads by Hulu, Universal, and More

/ Oct 28, 2014


In the wake of Tumblr’s recent announcement that its video player “finally works,” the company has also decided to leverage its new features by offering them up to advertisers.

Multiple brands, including JC Penney, Hulu, Universal, Lexus, The CW, and Unilever’s Axe, are participating in the launch, running autoplay ads on the social-blogging platform beginning Tuesday, October 28.

All ads will play automatically without sound, but they’ll appear in-stream for users on laptops and mobile devices. On desktop, users will also have the option to “pop out” the video on the side and watch as they surf their Tumblr feed.

These sponsored video ads are still in a beta stage for Tumblr, with plans to open them up to all advertisers in mid-November.

Tumblr hasn’t disclosed pricing for the ads, but said it’s charging on a cost-per-view basis. Here, the company defines a view as a video that’s played and has been “in view” for at least two seconds, which are in line with industry standards for video viewability.

Tumblr is obviously not the first social network to launch an autoplay ad option for advertisers. Facebook embarked on its video business with the same approach, and has been able to attract plenty of advertisers to distribute shareable content on its network.

And like Facebook, Tumblr has been trying to convince media and entertainment companies to buy ads on its platform. An autoplay ad option could go a long way in helping Tumblr meet its $100 million revenue target for 2015, which parent company Yahoo projected during its most recent earnings call.

One thing potentially in Tumblr’s favor: video is popular among its users, with video posts growing twice as fast as photo posts. (That said, we have no idea how many of the platform’s 420 million monthly uniques actually watch that content.)

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