Facebook Launches TV commercial-style ad breaks in Facebook Live

Facebook’s live-streaming service, known as Facebook Live, will soon be interrupted by 20-second ads as it plans to make money from all the live videos it shares on its network. YouTube already offers a way for creators to monetize their content, with creators getting 55% of the revenue generated from ads, and creators have been waiting for Facebook to respond with a monetization offer.

The social media giant announced on Thursday that it would be rolling out TV commercial-style ad breaks in live videos, and would begin testing ad breaks in traditional News Feed videos as well.

“Whether on Facebook or off, we’re committed to continuing to work with our partners to develop new monetization products and ad formats for digital video,” Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, Nick Grudin, said in a statement. “It’s early days, but today’s updates are a step towards this goal.”

The company said it had been experimenting with ads in live videos with a small group of creators over the last few months.

Facebook’s Audience Network service that places ads from Facebook’s advertisers onto third-party websites and apps, will now be available to all eligible publishers in the U.S.

“Now, publishers can bring relevant video ads to people all over the world, on both mobile and desktop,” Brian Boland, VP of Publisher Solutions & Maria Angelidou-Smith, Product Manager said in a blog post.

Facebook didn’t say how much the creators would make other than that the broadcaster will “earn a share of the resulting ad revenue.” Well, this is big news for publishers, many of whom have trouble making money from videos they share to Facebook.

Pages or profiles in the U.S. can qualify for Facebook Live ads if they have 2,000 or more followers and have reached 300 or more concurrent viewers on one of their recent Facebook Live sessions. Videos that have 300 more concurrent viewers can opt into the program.

As a policy, the ads, which can last up to 20 seconds each break, can start after the first four minutes of the live-stream, and then reoccur at least every five minutes.

“Viewers will see a counter in the corner of their screen that notifies them when you will be coming back,” says Facebook. “After the ad is over, your viewers will return to your live broadcast, and you may resume as usual.”

You don’t have to run the ad in your live show if you don’t want, and viewers can’t skip through ads. For consumers, once the feature goes wide, this means you’ll be seeing a lot more ads in your live shots.

Next up, Facebook is expanding beta test of ad breaks to more Live Video creators. These ad breaks allows creators to take short breaks for ads during their live videos.

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