Categories: Creative|By |2.9 min read|

Instream Video vs Outstream Video

Are you confused about the difference between instream video and outstream video advertising? These types of ads are often spoken about synonymously, but they are actually quite difficult from each other. In fact, incorporating both of these video ad mediums is a great way to diversify your marketing portfolio and take advantage of video advertising.

In this quick guide, we’ll explain the main differences between instream video and outstream video. Before we start, let’s define them both.

What is Instream Video?

Instream video ads are video advertisements that are played within a video. These ads can occur at the beginning, middle, or end of a video. These are referred They are also non-linear, meaning that can be played over the video. Typically, these videos last between six seconds and one minute, and viewers are given the option to skip the ad after five seconds.

What is Outstream Video?

Outstream videos are video advertisements that will appear within the content of a webpage.  These ads might pop up in an app or automatically play in a blog post when the user scrolls over them. These video ads will play automatically for as long as the user has the video player in frame. If the user continues scrolling, the ad will automatically pause.

The Difference Between Instream & Outstream Video


Placement is the biggest difference between instream and outstream video ads. Instream video ads will be placed within a video player on a website, usually the videos page. From Gourmet Ads’ perspective, these ads will be placed in videos that are relevant to the product. For example, we would place an instream video ad for Italian cheese on a page about Italian food.

Outstream ads, on the other hand, are not placed in videos at all. They are standalone videos that are embedded, much like a native ad, into a blog post or article. These ads are also placed within content that is highly relevant. For example, we would embed an ad for Italian cheese into a blog post from a popular food blog about the best cheeses to buy in Italy.

Autoplay Video

Both instream and outstream video ads can be autoplay. However, the way that they play are quite different. Instream ads will start during a video and will continue playing for five seconds until the user is able to skip them. Outstream ads automatically play when a user scrolls over the video and automatically pauses when the user scrolls away. The goal of both video mediums is to catch the attention of a user and have them watch the ad to completion, and both mediums are great at making this happen.

Mobile vs Desktop

Another big difference between instream and outstream video ads comes down to mobile friendliness. Instream ads can be used for both mobile and desktop content, but outstream ads are almost exclusively used for mobile sites or applications. This doesn’t mean that instream ads are superior, however. Using both instream and outstream advertising covers all of your bases without heavily focusing on one type of user over another.

Linear and Non-Linear Ads

Outstream Video Ads are linear, meaning that they occur as standalone ads within content. Instream ads, however, don’t have to be linear. They can be used as “companion ads” that pop up during the video but do not interrupt it. Many instream ads like this can take up half of the screen with a sidebar kind of appearance.

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