To win in the new era of social video, advertisers need to take a leaf out of publishers’ book – and embrace a world in which videos have no sound.

That is according to one executive whose company helps brands benefit from native ads.

“We’re watching more video than ever on mute,” says Sharethrough market development head Frank Maguire. “It’s funny how reading is becoming important to video-watching, which is a kind of weird dichotomy.”

Maguire is talking about new auto-playing videos and ads in places like Facebook and Twitter, where, to mitigate user reluctance, videos tend to begin with sound off.

That is giving rise to a new aesthetic in which creators load up their videos with clear cuts and overlay them with engaging captions.

Arguably even more than a mere aesthetic, caption-heavy video is becoming a new format in its own right. And Maguire says it is critical.

“The headline of a video becomes important to giving you context about what video is actually playing on the page right now – which is a slight deviation from pre-roll, where you have to watch this video to get to the next piece of content,” he says.

The new constraint is a factor for anyone making video for social, but particularly means a challenge for publishers or brands that may have felt compelled to shovel old, made-for-TV ad spots in to the networks.

Maguire recommends retrofitting them to bulk up on text.

“Top publishers that are winning in this muted-video world – NowThis do an amazing job … you can watch it all on mute, or Tasty from BuzzFeed,” he says.

“The publishers who have won this environment, advertisers have taken cues from them … (they) do simple things to video creatives to earn that attention.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IAB’s Digital Content NewFronts 2017. The series is sponsored by the IAB. For more videos from the #NewFronts, please visit this page.