Video with autoplay sound on

AppNexus strives to help publishers implement the best advertising user experience possible. This is particularly important with video. AppNexus has actively helped pubs move away from formats like autoplay sound on and per a recent release Chrome has made this change mandatory. Moving forward, Chrome will no longer allow autoplay video with sound on.

NOTE: Muted autoplay videos will NOT be affected.

This new Chrome release may affect you and your business if you monetize your content with video ads. For AppNexus customers, we have already made the default setting for autoplay video to have sound off by default for all AppNexus video players, plugins, and SDKs. In addition, we have active initiatives in place to work with publishers to make sure their experience is optimal.

It is critical to note that Google actively filters domains that violate this policy. To see how filtering works, please refer to this Google post. Also, keep in mind that Google will shut off ALL ads for a domain if even only a few placements on a domain violate the new policy.

At AppNexus, we actively monitor our customer's domains (to check for Google filtering), however we recommend that customer's also actively monitor their own domains to ensure they are not affected.

How AppNexus Approaches Autoplay

The default behavior for our video products is to conform to the Chrome policy (autoplay, sound off) and has been that way well before the Chrome release. However, we allow publishers to specify any combination of settings for their placements and video renderers (such as autoplay sound on), therefore we encourage publishers to make sure their usage of the AppNexus platform does not violate the Chrome policy. We also have intelligent browser detection that can test for sound on browser compatibility to automatically mute video that may be blocked.

We are also actively working to help our customers more easily determine their domain's status through our platform and we are working on updates to make it easier for buyers and sellers to make sure their inventory and campaigns are compliant with specific browser policy (including the autoplay sound on policy by Chrome, in this case).

Recommended Action

We recommend publishers take active steps to ensure their video playback is in compliance with this policy change. For video technologies not provided by AppNexus, such as your own custom video player, online video platform, content delivery network, or other technology vendor, please contact your vendor directly to confirm the appropriate actions to take.

For customers utilizing AppNexus Video capabilities such as the AppNexus Outstream Player, Bannerstream Player, Overlay Player, or other AppNexus video player plugins, we have compiled some specific recommendations below on how to conform to the new Chrome policy. These recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible to ensure no negative impact on your users or your business.

Outstream/Bannerstream

For those customers using our Outstream or Bannerstream products, please check the following:

  1. Set the playback method on your placement(s) to "autoplay - sound-off" or "click-to-play" using the AppNexus Console
  2. Another potential issue could arise for publishers using the "audioOnMouseover" parameter set to "true" or a time value. It is unclear at this point if having this setting enabled will adversely affect publishers, but we recommend that publishers change their settings to ensure "audioOnMouseover" is set to "false" unless audio playing only when the mouse is over video is specifically desired.

Overlay Player (Instream Video)

For instream video, the policy change is less clear. For publishers where video is your primary content, autoplay with sound on is more acceptable. For publishers that use video advertisements on text or other content, autoplay with sound on is not acceptable. We do recommend to play it safe and only enable sound for autoplay when you're sure it won't affect you:

  1. Set the playback method on your placement(s) to "autoplay - sound-off" or "click-to-play"
  2. Set up a targeting parameter (which will override the setting in Console) in the placement code to "&vplaybackmethod=2" (autoplay sound-off) or "&vplaybackmethod=3" (click-to-play)

Plugins

For customers using one of our plugins for players, such as Brightcove, Ooyala, Akamai Media Player, JW Player or other plugin, ensure your player is configured to disable sound-on by default (if autoplay is enabled). This is because the playback method for the plugins is strictly governed by the configuration of the publisher video player, not the plugin.

Additional Information

Below you will find links to external resource from Google regarding the aforementioned policy update, domain filtering, and a further explanation of how filtering works for Google.

Joel Korpi

Senior Product Manager, Video

New York, NY

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