Facebook's long-rumored, 15-second video advertisements will debut later this year and cost advertisers as much as $2.5 million for a single-day placement, according to Bloomberg.
High quality, television-like video ads that auto-play in Facebook's News Feed have been rumored since late last year and were supposedly on track for a summer release before being delayed until the fall, according to multiple reports from AdAge.
Now, Bloomberg is claiming that Facebook is asking advertisers for between $1 million and $2.5 million for the privilege of showing the digital commercials to a subset of the social network's audience of 1.15 billion people for a single day. The ads will vary in price depending on how many people advertisers want to reach, but can only be targeted to users based on their age and gender, Bloomberg reported.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to provide comment on the prospect or price of the much buzzed-about video ads.
The initiative is seemingly part of Facebook's desire to court television advertisers with big budgets and supplement its growing mobile business with additional income. The company not-so-subtly suggested that it had lofty TV ambitions in an earnings call with analysts last week. COO Sheryl Sandberg said that, on average, between 88 million and 100 million people in the U.S. are using Facebook during prime time TV-viewing hours.
Should Facebook video ads debut this fall, the social network will find itself in direct competition with Twitter, which is also courting television advertisers with synced in-tweet ads that can be promoted to Twitter users who have watched their broadcast commercials.
Also interesting is that the 15-second length of Facebook's video ads, which has been rumored for months, matches the format of Instagram's brand-new video offering, meaning Facebook may also be laying the ground work to put ads in Instagram's stream.