- Instagram is reaching out to marketers and their media agencies about buying ads on IGTV, the standalone feature that the Facebook-owned app introduced last year to compete with YouTube. Instagram said it's looking for ways to help creators monetize their content, but declined to provide more details about its plans, Ad Age reported.
- IGTV is said to be considering ad breaks like ones in Facebook Watch, the video-on-demand service that had 400 million monthly viewers and 75 million daily viewers at the end of last year. Facebook gives creators and publishers 55% of the ad revenue from Watch.
- While some creators have sponsors on IGTV, the service has yet to introduce a more formal branded content offering. On Facebook, branded content consists of posts that creators and publishers produce for a paid sponsor.
Brands and publishers have experimented with IGTV since its launch last June, and Ad Age's report indicates that parent company Facebook is intent on monetizing the platform and paying creators to develop content that will keep viewers coming back to its vertical videos. IGTV's key strength is the 1 billion users of Instagram that Facebook is working to convert into regular viewers of IGTV, but more detailed audience data about IGTV are harder to find. The service hasn't gained as many viewers as Facebook had hoped for, an unnamed ad agency source told Ad Age.
Instagram also is popular among social influencers who can monetize their posts with popular features like Stories. Almost all (93%) influencer campaigns use Instagram, about twice the share of YouTube and Facebook's main social network, per a study by CreatorIQ. The image-sharing app saw a 39% jump to more than 2.1 million sponsored posts last year, a Klear study found, signaling that Instagram is becoming an increasingly popular ad platform.
Migrating those content creators to IGTV will require more incentives, such as revenue sharing from sponsorships that Facebook is said to be considering, Ad Age reported. IGTV faces competition from YouTube, Snapchat and Amazon's Twitch in growing a roster of top creator talent that helps to keep audiences and advertisers on the respective platforms. The mobile video ad market is getting more crowded with Amazon's test of video ads in the Apple iOS version of its shopping app and plans for expansion to Google's Android mobile operating system this year.
IGTV's push comes as social media companies and digital publishers prepare for the Interactive Advertising Bureau's NewFronts presentations from April 29 to May 3. Twitter, YouTube and Verizon Media are among the companies that will pitch to media buyers with demonstrations of their programming and sponsorship opportunities. However, Facebook Watch and IGTV aren't scheduled to present at the event.