Video Ads Gaining Acceptance

freewheel-video-views-ad-growth.jpgVideo ad views have grown at a faster rate than video views (128% vs. 97%) from Q3 2010 to Q3 2011, according to [download page] a FreeWheel report released in December 2011. Data from the “FreeWheel Video Monetization Report Q3 2011″ indicates that this is the first quarter since FreeWheel began producing the report in Q3 2010 that its data has shown video ad views growth outpacing video views. Overall, the volume of videos viewed has risen from 6 billion to 11.8 billion year-over-year, while the volume of video ad views has risen from 3.1 billion to 7.2 billion during the same time period.

Consumer Engagement Remains Steady

freewheel-video-ad-load.jpgEven more encouragingly for video advertisers, although ad loads have increased, video ad completion rates have remained stable, indicating that viewers are becoming more comfortable with the increased number of ads in return for viewing valued content. The growth in video ad volume has largely been driven by higher video ad loads within long-form content, which now have an average of 5.02 video ads per video in Q3, up from 2.91 ads per video in Q2 and 3.1 ads per video in Q1. Despite this increased load, 82% of video ads initiated in long-form content were completed in Q3, while video ads in mid-form content (70%) and short-form content (56%) also showed strong completion rates.

Prime Time Varies By Content Length, Device

According to the report, short-form video is most likely to be viewed in the 1pm-4pm time frame, while long-form content much more closely mirrors traditional broadcasting patterns, peaking between 8pm and 11pm. Meanwhile, device viewing patterns are also clearly evident: whereas views from desktops and laptops dramatically increase through the early work day to peak at 2pm, video viewing from mobile phones increases throughout the day and into the evening, while iPad viewing experiences begin rising in the afternoon, not peaking until 10:30pm.

Android Views Rising

Android video views posted 7% quarter-over-quarter growth, second only to iPads views, which grew by 15%. By contrast, iPod/iPod Touch views fell 26% compared to Q2, while iPhone views also declined 7%. According to a November report from Ooyala, the average conversion rate (the ratio of plays to displays) for videos on Android mobile devices (45%) was more than double that of iPhones (22%) in Q3 2011, while the average conversion rate for videos on Android tablets (47%) was also significantly higher than the comparable figure for iPads (13%). However, iPads edged ahead in terms of viewer engagement: about 48% of iPad viewers watched three-quarters of a video in Q3, compared to 41% of Android tablet viewers. Similarly, viewers completed videos at a rate of 38% on iPads, ahead of 36% on Android tablets.

Video Ad CPMs Relatively Stable

For comScore top 100 VideoMetrix publishers, including top media companies and popular sites like YouTube, daily clearing price per 1000 viewers (CPM) is steady and slightly growing, according to November analysis from TubeMogul. Data indicates that the average CPM in October was $10.08, up 5.1% from August’s average of $9.59, but down slightly from September’s average of $10.12. According to TubeMogul, expanding the sample to all sites showed little variation in CPMs, but were consistently several dollars lower than comScore-ranked sites.

About the Data: FreeWheel served over 7 billion video ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll) in Q3 2011 and made ad decisions for over 11.7 billion video views. While the data is primarily U.S.-based activity on behalf of U.S.-based content producers, a small percentage of the viewing occurs outside the U.S. TubeMogul’s data is based on a sample of 29.34 million pre-roll ad streams in the US. Prices are from real-time bidding exchanges, which do not reflect any overhead charged by TubeMogul or any other third party.