Why Facebook Thinks Its Plan for Video Ads Is Right on Track

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (TheStreet) -- What's taking so long for video to become a more significant part of Facebook's (FB) advertising business? Absolutely nothing -- at least according to Brian Boland, the social network's Vice President of Ad Products Marketing, who Wednesday defended the company's progress at the Business Insider Ignition Conference in New York, NY.

"I don't think it's taking long. I disagree with that," Boland said in response to the question, posed by interviewer and Business Insider Chief Correspondent Nicholas Carlson. "We're seeing people consume a ton of video; we're seeing businesses upload a lot of video."

 

In September, 800,000 small businesses uploaded 3 million videos on Facebook, Boland said, throwing out the statistic as proof that Facebook is not, as suggested, taking too long to make video a more integral part of the social network's business.

Even if Boland's response doesn't directly address the crux of the matter at hand -- how Facebook will make money from those video uploads -- it does suggest that the company is taking a long-term view of its video advertising initiatives, which investors had hoped would have been kicked into high gear with the broader March release of pricey premium video ads that auto-play in News Feed.

Boland's remarks suggest that, though Facebook is surely courting the big budgets of broadcast advertisers, the company seems equally interested in profiting from video content creators of all kinds. To that end, the social network, which already garners 1 billion video views each day, has recently been rumored to be wooing YouTube's top producers with the likely intention of juicing video views on the network and throwing pre- or post-roll ads against higher quality content.

Whatever the plan, the company clearly wants a bigger slice of the money being spent on digital video ads, which eMarketer projected would more than double this year in the U.S. and grow to $5.96 billion. Wall Street may just have to wait to results, and that includes analysts like RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney who said earlier in the morning at the conference that his firm is projecting $700 million in revenue from autoplay video advertisements in 2015.

In the September quarter, Facebook grew advertising revenue 64% year-over-year to $2.96 billion on the back of stellar mobile sales. The company does not currently break out how much it makes from video advertising.

--Written by Jennifer Van Grove in San Diego, Calif.

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