Since releasing Facebook Live to a limited number of iPhone users in December of 2015, the platform has continually made updates, even announcing features like waiting rooms and dual presenter modes. (Which I have yet to see.)
According to Advertising Age, Facebook live is currently testing mid-roll ads in live newsfeeds. These ads mark the first time Facebook has attempted to monetize their Live feature.
In the beginning, they were even going so far as to pay big names like Vin Diesel and celebrity chef Gordan Ramsey upwards of $50 million dollars to live stream video on Facebook.
What Do These Mid-Roll Ads Mean for the Future of FB Live?
First, it is worth noting that Facebooks is currently just testing the feature, there is no indication when it might roll out. It raises an interesting question about how Facebook will make money off of its Live Stream feature.
It also raises some logistical questions – will the live feed cut out for the 15-second mid-roll spot? It would be difficult to make that work at, say, a political rally.
Will the ads only show up in the replayed version of the video? This makes more sense, but would result in a lot of missed revenue.
I suspect the ads will only be available to larger publishers and not to the average user. Having your kid’s live streaming birthday party interrupted for an ad doesn’t seem very user-friendly – or worth the hassle to Facebook or the person streaming.
More About Facebook Live
Check out this episode of Marketing Nerds with radio personality and podcast producer Shannon Hernandez, where we talk about how to build engagement on Facebook Live and what the future looks like.