Facebook reportedly wants $1 million for each video ad

The social network is asking advertisers to fork over $1 million or more for a single video ad, sources tell Ad Age.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Would you spend $1 million for a video ad on Facebook?

That's allegedly what the popular network is aiming to squeeze out of advertisers when it starts rolling out video ads sometime this summer, says a story today in Ad Age.

Citing information from one "executive briefed on the product," Ad Age reported that the video ads would carry a price tag upwards of $1 million, run for no longer than 15 seconds, and be scheduled so that no Facebook user sees more than three such ads per day.

Facebook has been chatting up ad agencies to interest them in the video ads and wants to sign up advertisers as the first open slots become available in June or July, three different executives briefed on the product told Ad Age.

Facebook hasn't ironed out the exact format of the ads. But they'd likely pop up in a dedicated video player and kick off automatically through autoplay. The ads would also call attention to themselves by expanding out of the main news feed and into the left and right columns, Ad Age said in December.

The company already displays video ads on the site's sidebar and news feed but they don't use autoplay and they don't expand into the outer columns.

The new video ads would first debut in the desktop flavor of Facebook and then segue to the mobile versions. Facebook is reportedly still trying to figure out how the ads would appear on a mobile device.

The social network is angling to sell four daily spots at this point.

Winning over that much business will certainly pose a challenge. These types of video ads represent new and untested waters, so advertisers may be shy about shelling out such big bucks initially.

Facebook's user base may large enough to justify high prices for ads -- more than 1 billion active users as of January. But how many of those people will actually tolerate a video ad that plays automatically, even if it's a short 15-second spot.

One of the executive sources told Ad Age that the high price tag and backlash from users are "likely to be a barrier to entry."

Facebook declined to comment on the video ads or the price tag to CNET as well as Ad Age.