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What Works in Online Video

Shorter spots see higher completion rates

February 9, 2010

According to analysis of video ad network YuMe, online video viewers became less likely to click on preroll ads, or watch them to completion, over the course of 2009.

Between Q1 and Q4, click-through rates trended steadily downward, from 1.88% to 0.74%. Completion rates dropped as well, to 66.3% in Q4.

Average Completion and Clickthrough Rate for US Pre-Roll Online Video Ads, Q1-Q4 2009

Broken down by length of preroll, there was a trade-off. While completion rates were higher for 15-second videos than for 30-second spots, the longer ads received more click-throughs. Additionally, view-to-completion rates fell throughout 2009 for both types of video ad, but rates for the shorter ads dropped more dramatically over the period.

Average Completion Rate for US Online Video Ads, by Video Length, Q1-Q4 2009

Average click-through rates for the year were almost doubled on longer videos, at 1.5% for 30-second ads versus 0.8% for 15-second prerolls.

YuMe found that video ads targeted to children and teens ages 6 to 14 had the highest video ad click-through rate, at 3.5%, but the lowest rate of viewing to completion. It was the ads targeted at the oldest users (over 35) that were most likely to be watched to the end, at a rate of 77.4%.

Online video analytics and distribution company TubeMogul reported somewhat higher completion rates for 10- to 30-second preroll ads appearing before short-form video clips. Nearly 16% of viewers clicked away rather than watch the ad to completion.

Rates were worse at magazine and newspaper sites, with nearly one-quarter of viewers abandoning the video, while just 10.9% clicked away from prerolls in front of video from large broadcasters.

Earlier research has shown that in addition to location and industry, video ad size and creative have a significant effect on success metrics.

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Check out today’s other article, “Measuring Return on Social Investment.”

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