Mediavine's approach to video has changed many times over the years. It has always been a feature that sets us apart from our competitors, creates a better user experience, and consistently makes publishers the most money.
If you're in a rush lets start with a quick cheat sheet of best practices and recommendations.
Mediavine Video Best Practices
➡️ Enable the Universal Player on desktop and mobile.
Additional Important Recommendations
🍪 If you use a recipe or how-to card, embed the video IN THE CARD for the best user experience and SEO benefit.
⚙️ If you're new here, new to video, or you know that videos are consistently embedded where you want the reader to interact with them, you can disable the Optimize Placement settings on desktop and mobile.
⚙️ If video embeds are not consistently placed (maybe they are in the first screenview, or not in a place that is reader-friendly in the post), you should enable the Optimize Placement settings on desktop and mobile.
Advanced Recommended Video Settings
👈 Set the Mobile Sticky Player Location to "bottom left"
The Method to Our Universal Player Madness
There's no doubt that adding video ads to your site is a meaningful way to boost overall revenue and lift RPM. The Mediavine Video Player is the best of the bunch with a focus on speed and SEO, and if you have post-specific videos that you'd like to upload you can learn how to do that here. Those videos will be click-to-play because when an instream video player autoplays, most readers cringe.
Instream Video = Video ads that play before or during video content
Outstream Video = Video ads served outside a traditional video player
Autoplay instream video defaults to playing without sound, which according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB; the organization that develops industry standards) actually requires that we classify them as outstream.
Effective February 2023, Mediavine no longer offers autoplay settings for instream videos. The reason for this change in standards is because autoplay instream video is a poor experience. The only reason to implement autoplay video is for the paycheck, but starting way back in 2021 Mediavine started to solve for that video paycheck a different way.
Even when you've created beautiful, useful video content as a companion to your written blog posts, when that video autoplays, readers immediately look for a way to exit out of the player. When we look at the numbers, autoplay videos average less than 1 impression per session 👎. They also have the potential to reduce the time on your site and can increase bounce rate.
As publishers, we always went along with autoplay instream trends because of revenue. Video CPMs are high, and if we could force readers to see even half an impression per session, that added to the bottom line. It was a sacrifice made in the name of a better paycheck.
Why the Universal Player is a Better Approach
The Universal Player is an outstream player that is 10px smaller than the standard instream video player.
That smaller player doesn't jump around the page or get in the way; it lives in the bottom left corner on mobile. And because it is small and out of the way, readers rarely exit out of the Universal Player. For this reason, this small outstream player averages 2-3 times as many impressions as the autoplay instream player.
Making More with the Universal Player
Your earnings from display ads are a result of CPM * Impressions / 1000.
CPMs for the Universal Player are a little lower, but the increase in impressions more than makes up the difference. AND! Because now your embedded videos are click-to-play, when readers DO watch your videos, you are paid a higher CPM for a video impression they see all of, because they are engaged.