News Ltd moves to autoplay to boost video inventory

News Limited will switch its video ad units to autoplay across its news websites next week, joining Fairfax Media as the only other major publisher to enact the controversial move.

Autoplay sees videos, preceded by pre-roll ads, start to play when readers open a page, raising concerns for viewers over user experience and for advertisers as to whether the ads are actually watched.

On News’ network, videos will start to play if 25% or more of the video window is visible to the reader, according to a story in The Australian announcing its publisher’s decision.

The move will be “popular with advertisers and media agencies because it increases exposure to their ad campaigns”, the story claims. It responds to a shortage in pre-roll video ad units, which is expected to get worse as more advertisers look to utilise video advertising online.

As with Fairfax’s videos, users will be able to change settings to turn off autoplay.