Video Marketing

What Is a Sticky Video Player and Why You Must Optimize It

Many publishers nowadays need a premium video player to run video content on their properties to engage their audiences better. However, the key to running a successful online video business is adequately monetizing your video library.

Although businesses have several monetization options at their disposal, most mid-to-large publishers will settle for ad-based monetization. This monetization model has the lowest barrier to entry, sports some of the highest CPMs in the digital advertising industry, and offers various types of ads publishers can use to monetize (pre-rolls, mid-rolls, post-rolls, etc.).

But what happens when your ads or videos are played but not actually seen? What if the users just skim your content? In these scenarios, ads are often called, but users never get to see them because they scroll past your player too quickly. That means publishers end up wasting money on bandwidth for an invalid impression.

So what’s the best way for publishers to deal with this issue? The answer is simple — implement a sticky player.

What Is a Sticky Video Player?

A sticky player is a feature that enables a video player to attach itself to a position of your choice, either in one of the corners of a web page, a specific HTML div element in the sidebar, or anywhere else on a page.

That means this player will follow the users scrolling down your page and keep your video player on their screens. That allows publishers to increase their views, playtime, and ad impressions.

Benefits of Using a Sticky Video Player

Leveraging a sticky video player comes with many benefits for publishers, but some of the most notable ones are:

  • Higher Playtimes — Using a sticky video player allows users to keep watching your video even while exploring the rest of your page’s content.
  • Higher Ad Revenue — Having your player stay with the users as they scroll down the page will ensure more valid impressions and clicks.
  • Better Browsing Experience — Using a sticky player gives users a better on-page experience, as they don’t have to remain stationary on the page while watching a video.

However, as beneficial as a sticky player can be, publishers must ensure it’s properly optimized, or it can cause more harm than good to their website.

The Importance of Optimizing Your Sticky Player

There are two primary things publishers must keep in mind when optimizing their sticky video players:

1. The Player Must Be Compliant With Google’s Sticky Player Policies

The reason for the above is simple — Google is the biggest and the most lucrative advertising network on the market, making it a prime choice for publishers looking to maximize their revenue. If publishers don’t comply with their advertising policies, they can get their accounts permanently suspended and lose their most considerable revenue stream.

That is why ensuring your sticky player complies with Google’s Guidelines and Restrictions for Implementing Sticky Ads is essential if you want to build your business around video advertising.

Here are some of the most notable sticky player best practices according to Google’s guidelines:

  • Sticky ads must not obstruct on-page content or website’s navigational bar
  • The sticky player must have a dismissal button
  • Advertising content must be clearly indicated and labeled
  • The player must remain static in its placement without experiencing any choppiness, stuttering, or delay.

For a complete list of Google’s best practices for sticky video ads, consult this official Google article.

2. The Sticky Player Shouldn’t Negatively Impact a Website’s CLS Score

Ever since Google’s Core Web Vitals core update rolled out in mid-2021, one of the newly introduced ranking factors was a website’s CLS score. If not done correctly, sticky player implementations can negatively impact this score and your website’s performance

What Is CLS?

Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS is a crucial, user-centric metric used to measure the visual stability of a web page. This metric helps quantify how often the end-user experiences an unexpected layout shift (displacement of page elements). Each time a visible element changes its position from one frame to another is considered a layout shift.

What Is a Good CLS Score?

Keeping your CLS score below 0.1 is considered a good user experience, so publishers and webmasters should always strive to keep it in that range. Google measures this metric as the 75th percentile of page loads for both mobile and desktop users.

The easiest way to check your CLS score is with Google’s Page Speed Insights. Once you get your results, you’ll also receive some recommendations on how you can improve your CLS score if needed.

Brid.TV Sticky Player — Optimized for CLS

Our engineers worked on a solution that leverages HTML and CSS techniques to create a sticky player that is fully compliant with Google’s recommendations and CLS optimization guidelines. That means Brid.TV’s sticky player first appears as a full in-page player before transforming into a sticky unit.

During the transition from the in-page to the sticky position, the player adheres to all CLS metrics and doesn’t disrupt user experience to maintain a high CLS score on Google’s Page Speed Insights.

Leverage a Fully Optimized Sticky Video Player at Brid.TV

If you’re looking to leverage a sticky video player to scale your ad-powered online business without having to worry about optimizing it for user experience and CLS, Brid.TV can help you.

Our engineers built our HMTL5 player’s sticky player functionality in accordance with Google’s best practices and guidelines and designed it so that it doesn’t negatively impact your CLS score. Users can make their players sticky with a single option straight from the Players section in our CMS. sticky player settings screenshot from cms

From there, publishers can choose where they want their sticky player to appear using the given options.

Maximizing your videos’ viewability and ad revenue has never been easier — try it out for yourselves.

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