Outstream Video Ads Extend Your Reach Into Mobile

You may have experimented with various types of video-based advertisements in your AdWords campaigns. But do you feel like your reach in mobile is lacking? Google’s new Outstream Video Ads could help ail that concern.

Google recently announced Outstream as a compliment to its Instream TrueView and Bumper Ads. This new format only plays for mobile users, so you know more clearly who you’re targeting, and Google says it expects Outstream videos to work well as a cost-efficient method of advertising outside YouTube.

Instream TrueView and Bumper Ads

For the uninitiated, let’s cover the types of video-based advertisement schemes Outstream seeks to supplement: Instream TrueView and Bumper Ads.

You have probably seen Instream videos when you’re browsing YouTube as a daily viewer. These ads tend to play for 30 seconds or longer and occur before YouTube videos. They’re the ones you can skip after five seconds.

Creators, like you, only pay for Instream content when viewers watch at least 30 seconds of the video (or the entire video if its shorter than 30 seconds) or they click on some call to action within the video itself. You would use this format to tell a relatively lengthy story about your brand.

Bumper Ads act as the direct foil to Instream. They only run for six seconds, and they try to increase brand awareness rather than tell a story. Creators pay for these ads based on a CPM model, which charges them for “viewable” impressions (discussed more below). You will see these ads throughout the Google Display Network, often on mobile.

Why Is Outstream Important?

Outstream ads help bridge a gap between Instream and Bumper. Although many brands have reported using concurrent Instream and Bumper ads to great effect, that combination still left a space for videos that were long enough to tell a story but short enough to engage on-the-go mobile users.

Google also determined that a new ad format could be effective when priced differently than content creators were used to. Outstream ads can run for longer than 30 seconds, but they are charged in the same way Bumper Ads are charged.

This payment and bidding method, known as vCPM or Viewable Cost-per-Thousand, allows you to bid for situations where you are expected to gain views rather than clicks. Your campaign will only be charged when at least 50 percent of your ad plays on a user’s screen for at least two seconds.

Details About the Outstream Format

Ads you create as Outstream will automatically play on users’ mobile devices when they scroll over your content. Your videos will play muted at first and will offer an unmute button.

Various locations throughout the Google Display Network, including websites and mobile apps, will have the chance to run your content.

How Should You Structure Your Ads?

The manner in which Google plays and charges for Outstream Ads should inform how you proceed with this new format. Since videos are automatically muted, your content should be eye-catching and worthy of watching even when the unmute icon is never tapped.

Furthermore, you should try to strike a balance between length and brevity. These ads can play longer than six seconds, so it should be worthwhile to create Outstream videos that run longer than that time frame. Yet you should also keep in mind that Outstream videos seek to build brand awareness more than tell verbose stories, so you’ll want to introduce your brand or new products as if they are fresh entities.

In many cases, your ads for new products and services will already be fresh, so you shouldn’t have to try too hard to recreate that feel. Tell your new product story in a bright, positive manner that says “hello, this is what’s new” more than “hello, here’s a complete history of the brand.”


The exact manner in which you should approach Outstream ads can be complicated. More than just a new video format, Outstream presents you with the challenge of using AdWords campaigns in a manner that supports those videos.

This is where Atria excels. Our team of professionals is only a phone call away. We’re ready to help you with everything from goal setting to ad copy creation and conversion tracking. Give us a call today, and let’s get your newest campaigns moving in the right direction.