Video ad completion rates continue to improve even as click-through rates hit a new low. And, while connected TV remains the device to watch, tablets are closing the gap when it comes to completion rates, per the latest benchmarking data [download page] from Extreme Reach.
Video Completion Rates
Video completion rates (VCR) have continued to rise, with Extreme Reach’s figures showing that video ads were viewed to completion 89% of the time last year. This is up from 83% in 2018 and 70% in 2017.
As in previous years, longer format ads have higher competition rates, likely due to their being watched more during long-form content consumed on connected TV devices. However the gap has narrowed between 15-second and 30-second ads. For 15-second ads, 88% were completed (up from 80% in 2018), while 89% of 30-second ads were completed (up from 88%). In the meantime, 6-second ads saw completion rates drop slightly, with only 78% of these shorter ads being viewed to completion, compared to 79% the year before.
Connected TV (CTV) continues to have the highest VCR of all device types. With a consistent rate of about 96% throughout 2019, CTV stands apart from all other devices. At the same time, video ad completion rates on tablets jumped to 88% (from 83%). Mobile phones (80%) and desktops (81%) also saw improvements in last year, up from 75% in 2018.
Click-through rates (CTRs) have continued an overall pattern of decline, now having dropped for each of the past four years, down to 0.16% in 2019. According to the report, the overall figures are impacted by the rise in CTV viewing which, by nature is not interactive (ie. clickable.) It’s worth noting that the argument was long ago made that completion rates are a better measure of video ad success than click-through rates.
That being said, CTR for the 30-second format is up to 0.13% (from 0.11% in 2018). However, after seeing an increase in 2018 (to 0.30%), CTR for 15-second ads dropped to a low of 0.21%.
Much like last year, media aggregators (0.33%) have a significantly higher CTR than premium media vendors (0.12%). When sorting by device, the data shows that desktop ad CTRs have stabilized at 0.27%, while tablet CTRs have decreased to 0.33% after surging to 0.46% in 2018.
Invalid Traffic Rate
There is good news when it comes to invalid traffic rates. Last year saw yet another welcome drop to 1.12%, from 3.97% in 2018. To understand the significance, in 2016 the average invalid traffic rate was 9.02%.
Extreme Reach also reports that the invalid traffic rate among aggregators is in a four-year trend of decline, with a 71% decrease between the full year 2018 and full year 2019.
CTV Extends Its Impression Lead over Mobile
In 2018, CTV overtook mobile as the device with the most impressions, at least on Extreme Reach’s platform. With recent data showing that CTV viewing hours grew 57% year-over-year in Q2 2019, it’s no wonder that CTV accounted for almost half (49% share) of impressions in 2019, while mobile (27%), desktop (16%) and tablet (3%) all registered a decrease in impression share.
The full report can be downloaded here.