What Is Native Video? (And How It Can Increase Your Revenue)

As a publisher, you’re looking to balance user experience and revenue. Native video is fast emerging as an effective format for delivering engaging, high-quality content to users, resulting in increased time-on-site and revenue. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of how native video works for publishers.

What is native video?

A native video unit enables website owners to deliver engaging video content to users. Publishers can monetize a native video unit by integrating branded messages into the content.

Similar to native advertising, native video content is informative, entertaining, and tailored to match the site’s content. As a result, users tend to spend more time on site after a native video unit has been added.

Why are website owners adding native video units?

Video units got lukewarm reviews from publishers when they first launched. The players were heavy and slowed down the page load. They made too many calls and requests which increased the user’s CPU usage. However, the technology has significantly evolved and today native video players are lightweight and streamlined to minimize page load time. This has led to a better user experience and as a result, publishers are moving to native video in large numbers.

On the demand side, advertisers are continuing to decrease TV advertising budgets and increase online video budgets. Native video ad spending is projected to increase by 20% to $16.46Bn in 2020 in the United States alone. Publishers are cashing in on this trend by adding native video units to their websites.

Graph of increasing spend on native video advertising


Higher CPMs

Website owners can expect significantly higher CPMs with native video units compared to display advertising. Snigel’s case study with found that using native video led to a 104% increase in revenue. On average, publishers can expect $6-$9 CPMs with native video units. With Snigel´s native video, publishers are able to increase CPMs by a further 27% – 73% because Snigel uses more advertising demand sources than competitors. Snigel’s lightweight player uses header bidding to extract the highest possible bid from advertisers. To find out more visit our what is header bidding guide.

More time-on-site

One of the major benefits of native video units is that they can show engaging content relevant to the theme of the site. This leads to higher time-on-site because users stop to watch.

More social media followers

You don’t need your own content to use a native video player. However, if you have video content on sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Vimeo, you can attract more followers by promoting this content on your website. This is done by adding hyperlinks that take users to the social media channel you are looking to grow. As a result, users can click on your native video content and be directed through to your YouTube channel., one of Snigel’s clients, effectively used this strategy to reach 290k subscribers on YouTube.

How can I use a native video player if I don’t have any video content?

Native video providers like Snigel can create video content using images and text from your site. These elements can be converted into engaging video stories that drive user interest, and increase page views.

Alternatively, publishers can opt for syndicated content related to their site from a large database of content. Syndicated content gives website owners easy access to relevant content of a high standard. Snigel is a one-stop-shop that provides syndicated content and takes care of the entire native video setup process so publishers can rest easy and enjoy higher CPMs while we do the work.

Screengrab of a browser window with an embedded YouTube video instead of native video

Should I embed video content or use native video?

Embedding video content on your site is an inefficient monetization strategy because embed content receives much lower CPMs. For example, the CPMs publishers get from embedding YouTube content are around 400% lower than the CPMs provided by native video players.

Publishers can stream their YouTube videos via a native video unit using an RSS feed. This will ensure that all your latest content gets added to your native video player.

Can I use my YouTube content in a native video player?

Yes, native video units enable publishers to reuse their existing video content to create a new revenue stream. For example, you can reuse your YouTube content in a native video player on your website.

Is native video a good fit for your site?

Native video is a good fit for most websites. It works particularly well if your site has multiple pages and a sidebar as the unit can be placed in either space. As with display advertising, viewability and the size of the player will have the greatest impact on CPMs and revenue. The more time on screen the video unit gets, the higher your CPMs will be.

Can I disable the sound on a native video player from automatically playing?

Yes, Snigel generally recommends that publishers integrate native video with autoplay on but sound off so as to not overwhelm users. Users can then unmute the sound by clicking on the speaker icon. However, the choice is up to the individual webmaster.

How can I start using native video on my website?

There are a lot of variables to control when it comes to setting up a native video player:

  • Unit placement
  • Unit size
  • Pre-roll or mid-roll branded messages
  • Content creation and curation
  • Enabling/disabling a float function

Advertising technology companies like Snigel can provide native video units and optimize them to meet your requirements. Just tell us what you want and we’ll do the rest. Snigel will also maximize the revenue generated by your native video unit by connecting it to all major SSPs and ad exchanges.


Native video can provide publishers with a new revenue stream to diversify their income. As advertisers continue to spend more money on online video, this channel is set for strong growth in the coming years. Snigel provides a comprehensive range of native video solutions. If you’d like to find out about how native video could work for your site contact us here.

About the Author

Ben is one of Snigel's Co-CEO. He works on business development and marketing - spreading the word about how Snigel can help publishers supercharge their ad revenue.


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