Half of rights-managed US video ad views during Q2 were for 30-second spots, the historical standard ad length for broadcast TV, according to the latest quarterly report [download page] from FreeWheel. The proportion of ad views represented by 30-second spots has slowly increased from 43% in Q2 2012, as 15-second spots gradually recede. The researchers indicate that this signals a shift towards a linear TV-type viewing experience online. Notably, completion rates tended to remain consistent across 15- and 30-second spots during the quarter.
For digital pure-play networks, completion rates averaged 73% for 30-second pre-rolls (71% for 15-second spots), 94% for 30-second mid-rolls (versus 95%) and 61% for 30-second post-rolls (compared to 43% for 15-second spots). The figures were similar for linear + digital networks: 76% for 30-second pre-rolls (77% for 15-second pre-rolls); 91% for 30-second mid-rolls (versus 97%); and 63% for 30-second post-rolls (versus 61%).
FreeWheel has described the “Linear + Digital” model as generating the “majority of”¦ revenue from linear TV services and also offering content on IP-based environment,” as well as being “focused on diverse mix of short, mid, and long-form content, with an emphasis on driving high ad loads.” The “Digital Pure-Play” model, by contrast, is characterized by its exclusive operation in IP-based environments, “either by aggregating third-party premium content and/or developing original premium content.” In this case, the “business models [are] focused on video view growth through syndicated distribution of largely short-form content.”
Video Ad Loads Increase for Linear + Digital Networks
Linear + Digital publishers are increasing video ad loads during long-form content (20+ minutes), though digital pure-play content isn’t following that trend, according to the report. During Q2, long-form ad loads for linear + digital networks reached 11.9, up from 10.2 in Q1 and 10.6 in Q2 2012.
By contrast, long-form ad loads for digital pure-play publishers have declined from 1.8 in Q2 2012 to 1 in Q2 2013.
In some respects, those differences are functions of the models themselves, with digital pure-play publishers more focused on monetizing short-form content. Indeed, 83% of digital pure-play networks’ US video ad views were for content less than 5 minutes in length. Linear + digital networks, by contrast, saw 40% of their ad views coming during long-form content, with another 22% for mid-form (5-20 minute) content.
Video Views Grow by 38% Year-Over-Year
On a year-over-year basis, video views were up 38%, with digital pure-plays seeing slightly stronger growth than linear + digital networks (41% vs. 32%). Both types of publishers saw the most rapid growth for mid-form content (48% and 44%, respectively), with long-form content views growing more slowly (21% and 20%, respectively).
About the Data: The data in the report only represents video that is rights-managed: aggregate monetization data for professional content from FreeWheel’s customers, and does not reflect trends for user-generated content. Starting with this Q2 2013 report, FreeWheel is solely reporting on U.S. based data. Any variation in data between the report and prior versions is due to extraction of international data. In upcoming quarters, FreeWheel will begin reporting separately on international results.