Predominant sources of monetizing videos are still views, scale and pre-roll advertising. The pre-roll format is the most common among both publishers and audience, even if the latter is not happy with it.However, there are some other effective strategies which The Telegraph has introduced and successfully implemented. 

22 September the Monetising Media conference took place in London. Ben Sinden, ‎director of video at Telegraph Media Group, pointed out the following thing: “there must be a saturation point. The world today is still predominately pre-roll, so all you need to do is serve more video on more pages. However, I don’t think this is the solution.” Moreover, with the enormously rising popularity of mobile phones, pre-roll advertising might be unsuccessful on a small screen. So, viewers are less likely to stream an advert via their mobile phones.

Telegraph Video Strategy


“I think it’s vital that, as publishers, we stay true to our core values so we can maximise future monetisation opportunities, while serving the audience correctly and maintaining a great user experience,” he said. In fact, The Telegraph ensures both an increase in video views in the pre-roll industry and revenue outside it.


‘Search and Embed’ tool

Traditionally, the video was embedded into an article after it was already written or even published. The Telegraph advised all journalists rethink this approach. It’s better to search for and embed relevant videos into any article. “Our in-house tool enables the whole newsroom to add videos in just a couple of clicks. It can search for things like keywords, tags and original content, which makes sure they are as relevant to the article as possible,” said Sinden.

As a result, with this tool the number of videos on the publisher’s site rose up to 20-30%.


Increase of video embeds

Now that our editorial team could actually access video, we needed to encourage further usage…So we started to track the number of articles published that included a relevant video embed, and subsequently set targets for desks of a certain percentage,” said Sinden.

“Setting targets offers an opportunity for us to generate more monetised views, as this way of working has had a really positive impact on our commissioning procedure as well as our planning… Where there were opportunities to embed video, yet a suitable video could not be found, the team could look ahead, commission in advance, turn something around quickly and make sure we have the best piece of video that is relevant to the article.”


Telegraph Video Strategy


Interestingly, the team conducted an experiment. It compared two weeks of data: one week before the targets were announced and one after their implementation. The daily number of published stories was equal. 41% more videos were published the week after these targets were announced. So, the total number of plays grew by a third.


Relevant recommendations

It goes without saying that marketers want their viewers not to leave the site after a video ends. To achieve it, The Telegraph introduced a feature: another video would start automatically after the first one. Video should be as relevant to each individual user as possible.

“We are looking at algorithmic solutions to make it more personalised, as the more relevant the video, the more likely they will stay to watch on,” he said.

In the first three months after this feature was implemented, there was an increase of 60 per cent in views in certain sections. Thus, the Telegraph is planning to use it across the entire website towards the end of 2016.


Player improvements

The Telegraph is also going to update its video player until the end of the year. It will help users to load videos faster that will improve the viewing experience across devices. “The content loads so fast on Facebook and YouTube…The audience doesn’t have time to wait around for a video to load, especially if it’s followed by a 30 second advert. We want to increase our views to increase our revenue,” said Sinden.

It also would be a great idea to allow audiences to search for related video content themselves after watching a video and to monitor users’ behaviour.



Thus, the Telegraph helps the publishers go beyond just the pre-roll advertising. The Telegraph’s dedicated video portal allows users to view video on its own. It goes in contrast to the more traditional format when videos are just embedded into text articles.

“Three months into the launch of Telegraph Video, we’ve seen views per visit more than double,” said Sinden.

The portal posts over 30 news videos every day. It also produces an eight-part series each month. The series brings five times higher revenue than Telegraph’s monetization efforts for general video plays, explained Sinden and added: “Advertisers have no influence over the content, so once the first sponsorship run is over, that content can be repackaged”.

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