Native video distribution platform Virool is launching a vertical mobile video ad format specifically designed with a young generation of mobile natives in mind.

Virool claims it’s the first format of its kind available programmatically – accessed via Rubicon Project’s open marketplace – and arrives in response to a video viewing standard set among millennial consumers by the likes of video messaging app Snapchat.

‘Video Reveal’ will also be sold as 100% viewable, says the group, with ad units appearing in-line with related editorial content on smartphones, including on iOS and Android devices.

The ads will auto-play on scroll and pause when less than half of the pixels are in view, adhering to the MRC’s viewable impression standard – that an ad must be at least 50% in view for one second.

Additionally, the ads won’t play sound unless tapped by the user.

User-centric pressure

The new ad format arrives as ad blockers and high viewability expectations become the norm; advertisers, publishers and ad tech companies are facing mounting pressure to innovate and produce more user-focused and less intrusive ad formats.

“We live in a world where content is being consumed on a vertical screen, particularly among millennials whose first digital language is mobile,” commented Alex Debelov, CEO of Virool.

The Daily Dot is one of the publishers working with Video Reveal in the testing phase, and attributes video to a huge source of its incremental growth, according to the group’s director of programmatic, Mike Foley:  

“With more than 60% of our site traffic coming from mobile web, we are always looking for new revenue sources and vertical video has the potential to become a big part of our video monetisation strategy.”

Investment in video

Virool, which works with publishers including Adweek, Mashable and The Onion, owes its new technology to $12 million in Series A funding last month from Menlo Ventures, Yahoo Japan, Flint Capital and 500 Startups.

While seeking funding for ad tech startups has become a tough gig within the last year, 500 Startups told TechCrunch that the time is right for shrewd investment in online video: “video is growing by leaps and bounds, and that’s not slowing anytime soon. There might be skepticism about ad tech, but not skepticism about video.”