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Video Ads in Social Media 2018

Shows Are Everywhere on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter—But Are People Watching?

About This Report
The social platforms are getting serious about long-form shows. Here’s what’s driving Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter toward this form of video—and what advertisers need to know.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Long-form video is spreading across social media. With the June 2018 launch of IGTV, Instagram joined Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter in offering users TV-like shows. Some marketers are experimenting with in-stream ads, placing pre-roll and mid-roll ads in social shows. But the audiences are small and the measurement capabilities are limited. All the platforms have YouTube in their sights, and young people show the most interest in watching shows on social platforms. Still, this is an area that marketers should watch closely; early feedback indicates video ads in social shows, in-stream ads, may perform better than those in social feeds.

Who wants to watch shows on social media platforms?

Nearly half of social media users ages 18 to 24 said they are interested in watching TV shows on social platforms. The percentages dropped to 38% for those 25 to 34 and 35 to 54, and to 23% for those 55 and older.

How is social media affecting video marketing?

Advertisers are increasing their spending on social video ads, and some are looking beyond the feed for ad placements. In-stream video ads may be appealing in some scenarios because they avoid the viewability challenges of in-feed ads and because they are a familiar format. With more consumers watching long-form video on mobile devices, social platforms are hoping to give advertisers another place to reach them.

What types of in-stream ad units are being used on social media shows?

Standardization is starting to happen around 6-second unskippable units in social shows. Some opportunities exist to sponsor shows, but contextually targeted ads are limited at this point. Marketers are measuring these in-stream ads differently than other social video ads, focusing on branding metrics and completion rate rather than clicks or actions.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report analyzes the growth of long-form video and in-stream video advertising on the social platforms. It looks at ad formats and policies at Facebook Watch, Twitter and Snapchat. It also gives analysis of what marketers should consider when placing ads in social shows.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

18expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. What’s New in Social Shows
  3. Social Shows Are Riding Several Consumer Trends
  4. Are Consumers Watching?
  1. Ads in Social Shows: What Marketers Should Know
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Frank Amorese
Heineken USA
Senior Media Director
Interviewed June 28, 2018
Joseph Barbagallo
Jaguar Land Rover North America
Manager, Digital, Social and CRM
Interviewed July 2, 2018
Billy Boulia
Vice President and Group Director, Social Strategy
Interviewed June 21, 2018
Nisho Cherison
Senior Director, Growth
Interviewed July 3, 2018
Robert Davis
Head of Digital
Interviewed June 26, 2018
Jessica Fini
American Honda Motor Co.
Social Media Manager
Interviewed July 5, 2018
Jen Forrest
DEG Digital
Director, Social Media
Interviewed June 19, 2018
Pam Griffin
The Clorox Company
Associate Director, Channel – Brand Engagement
Interviewed June 29, 2018
Jordan Jacobson
Regional Director, Social
Interviewed June 26, 2018
Mike Law
Dentsu Aegis Network
Executive Vice President and Managing Director, US Media Investment
Interviewed June 21, 2018
Nicole Lowry
Beauty Brands
Senior Director, Marketing
Interviewed June 29, 2018
Ryan Moore
Director, Global Video Solutions
Interviewed June 7, 2018
Peter Sellis
Snap Inc.
Director, Product, Revenue
Interviewed June 4, 2018
Quinn Sheek
DEG Digital
Director, Demand Generation
Interviewed June 26, 2018
Maria Smith
Director, Product
Interviewed June 14, 2018
Alex Stone
Horizon Media
Vice President, Digital Investment
Interviewed June 14, 2018
Ricky Van Veen
Head of Global Creative Strategy, Media Partnerships
Interviewed June 6, 2018
Anita Walsh
Horizon Media
Director, Social Strategy
Interviewed June 14, 2018


Debra Aho Williamson


Tricia Carr
Managing Editor, Interviews
Annalise Clayton
Senior Researcher
Sean Creamer
Natalie McGranahan
Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
Paul Verna
VP, Multimedia
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