The Washington Post (WP) is launching its new “FlexPlay” product, designed to make video advertising faster-loading and more interactive, “vastly improving the user experience and increasing engagement for the advertiser.”
“FlexPlay leverages proprietary video technology to optimize five to 10 seconds of an advertiser’s creative, turning it into .gif and mp4 flexible size formats,” reports WP. “The shorter, high-impact ads will have near-instant load times on any device, reducing the wait time for videos to start. Users can also interact with the ad, sharing it with friends or clicking through to the advertiser’s site.”
No doubt, the WP — as well as other publishers — now realize that to capture consumer interest, content matters, but every millisecond counts.
“We understand that video ads need to be improved and believe they can be a great experience, which is why we’re devoting resources to rethinking what’s possible,” said Jarrod Dicker, Director of Ad Product and Engineering. “We want these video ads to look high-quality, load quickly, and be as interactive as possible wherever a user sees them. That’s part of the power of this product.”
FlexPlay can easily condense or convert the video from an advertiser for display in a video advertising experience on mobile, tablet, or desktop. Files converted to a .gif will allow for text and social sharing overlays, and sound down autoplay on any device, including mobile phones.
“FlexPlay also has the ability to convert videos to any size so that videos ads can be created specifically for vertical mobile viewing similar to experiences on platforms such as Snapchat and Periscope,” explains WP. “All videos go through the FlexPlay encoding process, which optimizes them to output the most fluid viewing experience, and utilizes HTML5 to ensure the ads are fully responsive based on device, platform and location.”
In addition, text and social overlays are also optimized to protect against any slow downs in the viewing experience.
“Video advertising can be disruptive to a reader and we want to make sure that an advertiser’s message is as integrated into the experience as possible,” said Joey Marburger, Director of Digital Products and Design. “This technology allows us to deliver the best video experience for the viewer from end-to-end.”