Understanding the Types of Programmatic Video

With around 32.5 million other small businesses out there just in the US, every small business owner faces a fairly steep uphill climb toward success. Not only will you worry about local brick-and-mortar businesses, but you must also worry about online competition.

The pandemic inspired a mass migration online among small businesses. Yet, even there you’re up against approximately 200 million other active websites vying for customer eyeballs.

Plus, competing online is no picnic either. That’s why a lot of businesses turn to programmatic video to help level the playing field.

Not familiar with programmatic advertising? Keep reading for our breakdown of programmatic ads, video, and types of programmatic video.

What Is Programmatic Advertising?

In a nutshell, programmatic advertising is an approach that automates the process of buying and placing advertising. It uses a real-time bidding approach that leverages artificial intelligence.

The key is that you set the parameters you want to control the process. For example, you can target specific demographic or psychographic features, locations, and even industry factors.

You also set budget constraints to help control overall advertising costs. While frequently seen with video ads, programmatic advertising also extends to audio ads, search engine ads, and social media ads.

What Are Programmatic Video Ads?

Programmatic video ads are videos created by you or an advertising or marketing firm. Ideally, the videos should follow general best practices, such as:

  • Keep it short
  • Stay brand focused
  • Start strong
  • Leverage emotions
  • Build them into an overall strategy
  • Tailor to the platform

Once you have the video, there are a couple of options. You can go directly to the platform you want the video to appear on, such as a major social media site. These are your demand-side platforms.

Your other option is to work through an ad network or agency that handles the real-time bidding on your behalf.

Assuming you set all your parameters with care, the ad should appear on the right kind of platform and appear for the right kind of audience.

Types of Programmatic Video

Advertising and marketing are not one-size-fits-all propositions. That’s as true for video marketing as it is for any other kind of digital ads. So, let’s dig into the different options available with programmatic video.


One of the more popular options for video ads is the in-stream option. Even with in-stream, there are three general categories:

  • Pre-roll
  • Mid-roll
  • Post-roll

Your pre-roll video ads are the ones that queue up and play before someone can access the video they want to see. So, let’s say that you sell woodworking tools. Your ad may show up right before a woodworking tutorial on a YouTube channel.

Mid-roll video ads are the ones that show up in the middle of another video. These are less common and typically show up during longer videos.

Post-roll videos play after a video ends on a platform. These are less popular, in large part because people often navigate away as soon as they start.


While out-stream ads won’t necessarily differ a lot in substance, they don’t appear with other streaming video content. These videos typically find a home embedded in the middle of some other kind of content, such as an article or blog post. You may also see these videos called native video.

As a general rule, they remain inactive until the reader scrolls to them. Once the reader reaches the video, it plays automatically. This type of programmatic video advertising does carry some risks.

For example, if the reader has the volume turned up on the computer, the video can play very loudly and annoy the reader. Some readers will immediately leave a website if this kind of ad shows up, so it does pose some risk.

To avoid this problem, some native videos load and play automatically in a separate box when you arrive on a site or a particular page. The video normally plays in either a sidebar or an independent box that sits at the bottom of the screen.

Out-stream videos may also appear in some types of video games. Some incorporate interactive elements to entice interaction by the viewer.


In-display video ads are their own special thing in the online video advertising world. These videos are often longer and more in-depth than their other video ad counterparts. They do not play with other streaming videos or typically appear in the middle of other content.

These ads often turn up as optional content at the top of an up-next menu on a streaming video service. You may also see them show up at the top of search engine results. These videos do not play automatically but require that you click on them to start the video.

Benefits of Programmatic Video Advertising

Programmatic video advertising offers several benefits for your business. One is that it speeds up the process dramatically when compared with manually buying ad space and negotiating when and where it appears.

You can typically target your audience very carefully. This improves overall response. Plus, it helps you avoid wasting your marketing budget on people who aren’t likely to buy your products or services.

You typically get cross-channel options, such as appearing on desktop computers, mobile devices, and even on connected TVs. If an ad isn’t working out the way you expect, it’s comparatively easy to make adjustments to your audience parameters.

You get quantitative data about your ad performance, which lets you make more informed choices moving forward.

Programmatic Video and You

Programmatic video can open up advertising options for your business. The programmatic ad approach is fast and constrained by the budget limits you set. Plus, you get options about types of videos you want placed on other sites.

You can go for the in-stream videos that routinely appear on streaming platforms. You can opt for out-stream or native videos on relevant sites. You can also look to in-display ads if you want more time or latitude to go in-depth with your content.

Media Shark specializes in programmatic advertising. For questions, more information, or to get started, contact Media Shark today.

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