While the popularity of mobile advertising has been evident for some time, the rapid adoption of mobile video on both the buy and sell side has uncovered a disturbing trend: most people are doing it wrong.

Unlike many desktop environments, mobile video does not lend itself well to re-purposed television assets. This is largely due to the fact that 94% of website visits on smartphones begin in the portrait (vertical) orientation. In practice, this means that video assets repurposed from television or desktop are presented in a stunted 16:9 aspect ratio. To consumers holding their phones vertically, it is disruptive to force them to rotate their phone to watch a video. This experience is hardly the sight, sound, and motion that the original video producer had intended. Vertical videos also command maximum consumer attention with 4x the screen real estate over a horizontal video.

Here are some digital video strategies publisher and advertisers should consider to correctly do mobile video:


Publisher Strategies

  • Incorporate vertical video into content - Leading publishers such as the Washington Post, have illustrated how short vertical videos can enrich traditional text content particularly in mobile environments.  


  • Create vertical video content - Many of our publishers are entering the video content space from a mobile-first perspective by only featuring video in a 9:16 player (eschewing the traditional 16:9, horizontal format entirely). This allows them to create valuable pre-roll inventory while adding a premium for the highly effective vertical video format.

  • Syndicate vertical video content - Publishers who create vertical video content can also syndicate this content on social networks. This allows them to draw in a wider audience who may be attracted to this mobile-first approach to video creation.

  • Adopt vertical in-banner video - Incorporate vertical video into vertically proportioned banner ads such as the 160x600. This extends the reach of vertical video beyond strictly mobile placements.

  • Build new vertical video placements - New ad formats such as outstream/in-article ads offer publishers new opportunities to incorporate new ad placements which work well with vertical videos.

  • Modify advertiser videos - Publishers should help their advertiser clients transform existing horizontal videos into vertically formatted videos for ads.


Advertiser Strategies

  • Transform to Vertical - Similar to publishers, advertisers should make efforts to transform horizontal videos to vertical formats by cropping the video to highlight key moments and objects.

  • Shoot Natively in Vertical - When possible, advertisers should add vertically formatted shots to their video production plans.

  • Seek out Vertical Supply - While not widely available through standard programmatic means, advertisers should seek out direct deals with publishers offering vertical video inventory.


For publishers and advertisers looking to get a head start in vertical video, Flite has launched Velocity - the first-to-market vertical video ad builder. Velocity allows users to quickly repurpose horizontal videos into vertical videos without any prior knowledge of video editing tools (i.e. Adobe After Effects).

To learn more about how to get started with Velocity, contact our sales team today.