In a move welcomed by the mobile marketing community, Google recently revealed that video ads will now integrate with Google’s popular AMP format. Thanks to improvements in performance, Google says that it now intends to make the AMP format as ad-friendly as possible. The move stands to have major impact on mobile marketing and marks a pivot from AMP’s narrow focus on speed and user experience
When AMP was originally released, Google stressed that the primary focus was on the speed, usability, and readability of its mobile pages. By creating faster-loading pages with streamlined code, Google was able to capture users as they migrated to mobile apps as their primary means of consuming content.
But to make the format as fast and as lean as possible, Google limited some of the options available to the mobile marketing world. This included limits on which types of ad formats marketers could integrate into the AMP format. One prominent omission: video ads.
Brands that wanted to use video ads in their AMP content had to jump through hoops to make it happen. Google’s ad server, DoubleClick, limited the number of ads per page and did not have any options for video ads. This led brands to rely on third-party integrations to include video ads in their pages.
The difficulty of integrating video ads caused problems for brands. Many lost potential ad revenues because they had to rely on less lucrative ad formats. Others saw page performance suffer due to the code-bloat caused by third-party integrations. And some brands decided to avoid the AMP format entirely, preferring the control and flexibility offered by HTML5.
By making video ads available to brands, Google is shifting their focus toward brands and content creators. The change allows creators to better monetize their AMP content and giving brands more options on ways to harness AMP in their mobile marketing efforts.
The good news: that change hasn’t come with a sacrifice to AMP load speed. Since launching AMP, Google has managed to improve content performance to the point where video integration isn’t expected to cause usability issues for readers. In fact, Google says that video ads are only the beginning. With the improved performance, Google has said it hopes to expand the ad formats offered through DoubleClick, opening up new mobile marketing possibilities through AMP.