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LinkedIn to further monetize with video ads

17. 10. 2017.

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LinkedIn is rolling out video ads, which will be displayed as standalone posts, as opposed to pre-roll or mid-roll ads, with a “Promoted” label, Recode reports. Video ads will auto-play without sound, and are currently only being tested on mobile. Select advertisers are part of the soft launch, and the company plans to roll out video ads to all brands in the first half of 2018. 

Video ads also come just a few months after the company launched its native video uploading feature in July. The new ad format positions the company to boost advertising revenue by capitalizing on the growing appetite for video content.  

Here’s why video ads are likely to have a positive impact on LinkedIn’s ad business:

  • There's a strong appetite for video content on LinkedIn, and overall demand for video content is growing. Users share video posts 20 times more frequently than other types of posts on the platform, according to LinkedIn. Globally, online video consumption is projected to increase by 20% in 2017, according to Zenith. LinkedIn positions itself to further monetize its roughly 500 million registered users that exhibit particularly high engagement with video — and may demand more video content in the future.
  • Video ads can help build brand interest in leveraging LinkedIn as an ad platform.Video ads build on the company's recently launched LinkedIn Audience Network, its ad network that lets advertisers target users elsewhere online. LinkedIn’s user demographics are attractive to advertisers — the platform is home to a higher percentage of US adults with an income of over $75,000 than Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. 

Advertising has historically been a small portion of the company’s overall revenue. The company’s ad revenue stood at $175 million, or 18% of total revenue in Q3 2016, LinkedIn’s last reported earnings before being acquired by Microsoft. In comparison, LinkedIn’s recruitment business generated $623 million in revenue, 65% of total revenue. LinkedIn’s advertising business has room for growth, and the company is aggressively investing in building out tools for advertisers.

Robert Elder, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together a detailed report on social video that:

  • Assesses the evolving social video landscape, with attention to Facebook, YouTube, Snap, and Instagram.
  • Analyzes the relative strengths of each platform from a product, distribution, audience, and monetization perspective.
  • Looks at what’s next for the industry, so that media creators and brands can invest for the future.