Ads In Long-Form Video Content Continue Getting Higher Completion Rates

Ads placed in long-form videos of 20+ minutes continue drawing higher completion rates, despite generally increasing ad loads that are markedly higher than for mid- and short-form content, according to [download page] FreeWheel’s Q3 2012 Video Monetization Report, released November 2012. The completion rate for ads placed in long-form content improved to 93% in Q3, the highest rate recorded to date, compared to 79% for mid-form content (5-20 minutes) and 67% for short-form content (under 5 minutes). The study is limited to professionally-produced, rights-managed video content.

Long-form content video naturally packs more ads, with an average of slightly less than 7 ads per video in Q3 2012. That’s down from a high of 7.96 in Q2, but still represents a generally increasing trend, given that the ad load was about 5 in Q3 2011. So, while viewers are seeing about 2 more ads per long-form video, their completion rates on those ads has grown from 82% to 93%. This is a powerful indication that consumers are increasingly willing to watch ads in exchange for compelling, professionally-produced content.

While long-form content fosters higher ad completion, a considerable majority of online video viewing is short-form. 87% of professional video views in Q3 2012 were of short-form content, 11% of mid-form, and just 2% of long-form. Video ad loads inched up from 1.32 to 1.41 in Q3 for mid-form content, while they remained relatively stable at 0.52 for short-form content.

Advertiser Demand Keeps Growing

Total rights-managed content video views are on the incline, up 17% year-over-year in Q3 2012, and up 10% quarter-over-quarter. But, growth in video ad views is even more impressive: by comparison, video ad views were up 49% year-over-year in Q3 2012. This pattern has been found for numerous quarters now. As the report concludes, “consumer appetite for video viewing continues to be outpaced by advertiser demand.”

Indeed, fully 97% of more than 700 surveyed professionals from across the digital media industry report that their digital video ad spending is up this year, for an average increase of 27%, and respondents expect spending on digital video to be up another 20% in 2013, according to a November report from Digiday and Adap.tv.

Apple’s Share Of Mobile Views Almost 2X That of Android

Video viewing on non-PC/Mac devices (e.g., on smartphones, tablets, gaming devices) was up by about 300% year-over-year in Q3. While in Q3 2011 non-PC/Mac viewing comprised less than 3% of all views, a year later it comprised nearly 10% share, or more than 1.3 billion video views.

Apple iOS devices represented almost 60% of that viewing, with almost half of that going to the iPhone (29.2%), followed by the iPad (20.6%) and iPod (8.1%). Android devices accounted for 31.5% share of views, and the Xbox, 9.9%.

While Android viewing is about half that of Apple devices, Android device viewing has shot up by 450% year-over-year, while iOS viewing is up by a substantially smaller proportion.

About The Data: Gathered Q3 2012 from 10.7 billion video ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll) in Q3 2012 served on the Freewheel platform. Data here is primarily US-based activity on behalf of US-based content producers, but a small percentage of the viewing occurred outside the US Data represents only video that is rights-managed: aggregate monetization data for professional content from FreeWheel’s customers, and does not reflect trends for user-generated content.