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Tumblr Introduces Auto-playing Video Ads to Users' Dashboards

Tim Maytom

tumblr screen shotSocial blogging site Tumblr is rolling out auto-playing video ads to users' dashboards in a pilot program for a limited number of big-name brands including Lexus, Universal, Hulu and JCPenney.

The site, which was bought by Yahoo in 2013, introduced a new video player last week that auto-plays looping video without audio, similar to Facebook's video player, which users can choose to activate the sound on. The player also enables users to pop-out the video player to continue watching while they scroll through their dashboard.

The new brand ads will take advantage of the same functionality, appearing as sponsored posts within users' dashboards and looping infinitely on desktop or mobile versions (although only if connected to wi-fi). The new player supports Vine and Instagram videos, which will enable brands to reuse videos that have been designed for other platforms.

During Yahoo's earnings call last week, CEO Marissa Mayer said she expected the platform to generate over $100m (£62m) in revenue for the company next year, mainly through sponsored advertising. She also revealed that the platform has grown to 420m users, who spend an average of 28 minutes a day on the site, and believes it will achieve positive earnings before interest and tax next year, which has surprised many investors who had written off the acquisition.