In the rapidly evolving digital advertising landscape, video advertising stands out as a compelling medium for publishers and advertisers alike. With video content’s soaring popularity, two formats have emerged as front-runners: Instream and Outstream video ads. Each offers unique advantages and challenges, making it crucial for publishers to understand the intricacies of both to effectively leverage them for ads monetization.


Instream Video Ads

Instream video ads are typically played before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) the main video content, closely mirroring the traditional TV advertising experience. They are most common on platforms where users expect to watch videos, such as YouTube or news websites.


  1. Higher Revenue Potential: Instream video ads are known for their higher CPMs compared to other ad formats. This translates into higher revenue potential for publishers, making them a lucrative option for monetizing video content.
  2. High-Quality Ads: These ads tend to be of higher quality, both in terms of production and relevance. This not only enhances the user experience on the publisher’s platform but also contributes to maintaining a premium feel to the website or video content.
  3. Increased Engagement: The pop-out or sticky characteristic of instream video ads ensures that they remain visible to the user even while scrolling, significantly increasing engagement rates. This persistent visibility can lead to better ad performance and, consequently, higher earnings for publishers.
  4. Integration with Publisher’s Own Video Content: Instream video ads can be seamlessly integrated with a publisher’s own video content, ensuring a fluid user experience. This integration allows for a more natural presentation of ads, which can reduce viewer irritation and improve acceptance rates.
  5. Cross-Platform Linking: For publishers with content across multiple platforms, such as a website and a YouTube channel, instream video ads offer an opportunity for cross-platform linking. This can help drive traffic and viewership across different content repositories, maximizing audience reach and engagement, as well as revenue opportunities.


By leveraging instream video ads, publishers can not only enhance their monetization strategy but also provide their audience with a more engaging and high-quality viewing experience.



  1. Limited to Article-Style Content Pages: Instream video ads are most effective and only applicable within article-style content pages where video content is a natural fit. This limitation can restrict their use across other types of web pages or content formats, potentially reducing their applicability for some publishers.
  2. Stricter Policy Guidelines by Google: To ensure a quality advertising space for advertisers, Google enforces much stricter policy guidelines on instream video ads. Publishers need to navigate these guidelines carefully to avoid penalties or the loss of monetization opportunities, requiring constant vigilance and adherence to Google’s standards.
  3. High Costs Without Own Video Content: For publishers without their own post-ad video content, integrating instream video ads can be costly. The need to create or source video content to precede or follow the ads can introduce significant expenses. However, Waytogrow offers a solution by providing content, mitigating this challenge and supporting publishers in leveraging instream video ads effectively.
  4. Player Server Fees: Implementing instream video ads typically involves player server fees, which can eat into the margins of ad revenue generated through these ads. However, Waytogrow addresses this concern by covering all such fees within our revenue share model, ensuring that publishers can enjoy the benefits of instream video ads without worrying about the additional costs.

Despite these cons, instream video ads remain a powerful tool for publishers looking to monetize their video content effectively. With the right strategies and support from partners like Waytogrow, publishers can navigate these challenges and maximize their revenue potential from video advertising.


Outstream Video Ads

Outstream video ads, on the other hand, are designed to play in non-video environments, such as within text content or news articles. They start automatically when they come into view and should be  mute by default, requiring user interaction for sound.


  1. Flexibility in Placement: Outstream video ads can be placed in non-video content, such as between paragraphs of an article or in a sidebar, providing more opportunities for publishers who don’t have video content to monetize their sites.
  2. Does not require post roll content:: Since outstream ads don’t require video content to be attached to, they can be widely distributed across various parts of a website, increasing ad inventory availability.
  3. Higher Fill Rates with More Ads Available: Outstream video ads typically offer a larger pool of available ads, contributing to higher fill rates for publishers. This abundance ensures that ad spaces are more consistently monetized, boosting overall revenue potential. However, it’s important to note that while fill rates may be higher, the quality of ads can often be lower compared to the premium nature of instream video ads.
  4. Ease of Application and Fewer Policy Restrictions: Implementing outstream video ads on a site is generally easier and comes with fewer policy restrictions. This makes outstream video ads an attractive option for publishers looking for a straightforward way to monetize their content. The reduced complexity in terms of policy compliance allows publishers to incorporate these ads across a wider range of content with less concern for strict guidelines that accompany instream video ads.


Outstream video ads provide a flexible and accessible avenue for publishers aiming to enhance their ad monetization strategy. Despite the potential trade-off in ad quality, the ease of application and the opportunity for higher fill rates make outstream video ads a compelling option for publishers exploring diverse revenue streams.



  1. Lower Revenue Potential: Outstream ads typically generate lower revenue compared to instream ads due to their lower perceived attractiveness to advertisers. This perceived difference often results in lower bidding rates for outstream ad spaces, affecting overall monetization efficiency for publishers.
  2. Lower Quality Ads: The ads displayed through outstream formats are often of lower quality, frequently comprising simple animations or text-based content. This lower quality can detract from the user experience and may not align with the publisher’s content standards or audience expectations.
  3. Intrusiveness: Outstream ads are considered more intrusive by users, given their tendency to pop up unexpectedly in content or occupy large screen areas. This “in-your-face” approach can lead to negative user experiences, potentially increasing bounce rates and reducing pageviews over time.
  4. Lacks Native Feel: Unlike instream ads, which can integrate more seamlessly with video content, outstream ads often lack a native feel. Their placement and format can disrupt the content flow, making them more noticeable—and not always in a positive way—to users, which can affect engagement and time spent on the site.


Outstream ads present a trade-off between ease of implementation and potential impacts on user experience and revenue. Publishers considering outstream ads must weigh these factors carefully to decide how best to integrate these ads into their monetization strategy while maintaining a positive user experience.


Choosing the Right Format

Deciding between instream and outstream video ads is pivotal for publishers aiming to craft a monetization strategy that not only boosts revenue but also aligns with user expectations and enriches the overall browsing experience. This choice demands a thorough understanding of your website’s specific needs, audience preferences, and content type.


Instream Video Ads are ideally suited for publishers with a robust base of original video content. These ads can seamlessly complement the viewing experience, keeping audiences engaged and simultaneously generating substantial ad revenue. High engagement rates are a hallmark of instream ads, especially with pre-roll formats, as they capitalize on the viewer’s anticipation for the upcoming video content. However, it’s vital for publishers to find the right balance in ad frequency and content quality to prevent viewer disengagement or irritation. Publisher Pros include:

  • Higher Revenue Potential: Instream ads typically command the highest CPMs, translating to significant revenue opportunities.
  • High-Quality Ads: These ads are usually of higher quality, enhancing the viewer’s experience.
  • Enhanced Engagement: The pop-out/sticky characteristic of instream ads follows users, maintaining engagement.
  • Integration with Publisher Content: They integrate well with publishers’ own video content, offering a cohesive viewing experience.
  • Cross-Platform Linking: Provides opportunities for cross-platform promotion, such as linking website content with a YouTube channel.


Publisher Cons to consider are the format’s limitation to article-style content pages, adherence to stringent policy guidelines by Google, potential costs for publishers lacking their own post-ad video content, and player server fees (though mitigated by Waytogrow’s revenue share model covering all fees).


Outstream Ads, on the other hand, offer a viable solution for publishers primarily featuring written content who seek to integrate video advertising without producing their own video content. Outstream ads can be embedded within text articles or displayed in sidebars, unlocking new revenue streams without the overhead of video production. Publisher Pros include:

  • Higher Fill Rates: Although the quality might be lower than instream, outstream ads ensure a steady ad supply.
  • Ease of Application: These ads come with fewer restrictions, making them easier to apply to various site types.


However, Publisher Cons highlight lower revenue due to lower ad quality, potential for intrusive user experience, and a lack of native feel compared to instream ads.


Making the Decision

The choice between instream and outstream should reflect a strategic balance aimed at optimizing ad revenue, preserving content integrity, and offering a positive user experience. Publishers should consider their content’s nature, audience engagement strategies, and feedback. Performance metrics, audience insights, and staying abreast of the latest monetization technology trends are essential for making an informed decision that best serves their monetization goals and respects audience preferences.


Ultimately, both instream and outstream video ads are valuable tools in a publisher’s arsenal for maximizing ads monetization. By carefully weighing their unique advantages and potential challenges, publishers can tailor their video ad strategy to fit their site’s specific needs and audience expectations, ensuring a harmonious balance between revenue generation and user satisfaction.

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