The Washington Post’s RED team today introduced SwitchPlay, a patent-pending video ad solution that prioritizes user experience while maximizing performance. As readers scroll down an article page, the new ad tech will give them the ability to see the video they wanted sooner and view the rest of the video ad later in a continuous video message in multiple positions throughout the page.
“With an understanding of how users interact with pre-roll, we wanted to help ensure they can be exposed to a brand’s entire message but in a much more user-friendly way,” said Jeffrey Turner. “SwitchPlay benefits both users who now have greater control over their reading experience and advertisers who will in turn see higher overall completion rates.”
When viewing an article page, the video ad will start as pre-roll in the video player at the top of the page. After six seconds, SwitchPlay technology will give users the option to switch immediately to the editorial video and finish the remaining portion of the ad within inline video units as the user moves down the page. The inline video ads stop and start muted with captions as they go in and out of view, picking up the video where the last ad went out of view, until the full video is completed.
SwitchPlay was developed out of The Post’s User Lab, which is used to test ad prototypes with core readers and subscribers. During testing, users expressed interest in more choices in video ad consumption beyond the full 30 second pre-roll.