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Why Pre-Roll Video Ads Need to Be Interactive

Interactive pre-roll video ads drive engagement, awareness

March 26, 2015 | Advertising & Marketing | Video

Still relying on traditional pre-roll? It may be time to move on, based on recent research. According to an analysis released in March 2015 by Innovid, interactive pre-roll video ads outperformed standard pre-roll across all metrics throughout 2014.

Performance Metrics for Standard vs. Interactive* Online Pre-Roll Video Ads Worldwide, by Ad Length, 2014 (among impressions served by Innovid)

Interactive video impressions served worldwide to desktops via the Innovid platform last year saw an average completion rate of 77.7%. While standard video wasn’t too far behind, the source noted that any extra second advertisers can spend with viewers is worth it. A much wider gap was seen when it came to how long each ad was viewed. The average user watched 84.3% of an interactive ad, vs. 79.4% for standard video pre-roll.

Awareness was also higher for interactive video ads, at 31.0%, vs. 12.5% for pre-roll units.

Standard pre-roll was better for one thing, though: clickthroughs. While interactive units had an average clickthrough rate of 0.4%, this was 0.8% for standard impressions. Innovid noted that interactive’s lower rate was due to the fact that the ad type is meant to keep the user within the unit itself.

Overall, online interactive pre-roll video ads worldwide had an average engagement rate of 2.8% last year. This was even higher for longer ads, with 30-second spots seeing an engagement rate of 3.0%.

Interactive Video Ad Completion Rate Worldwide, by Region, 2014 (based on impressions served by Sizmek)

Data released in February 2015 by Sizmek also found impressive performance among interactive video ads. Based on impressions served worldwide in 2014 via the Sizmek platform, interaction rate for interactive video was 3.6%. Start rate was 86.2%, while nearly 80% of placements played to the 50% mark and two-thirds to completion.

eMarketer estimates that this year, US digital video ad spending will reach $7.77 billion, up 33.8% year over year. This figure puts video’s share of US digital ad dollars at 13.3% in 2015—the second-largest share of any display format.

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