Attaining maximum online video revenue is a simple equation: serving more ads without disrupting viewer engagement, says Ooyala [download page] in a May 2012 report. Optimizing ad load (the number of ads per play) is one way to go about this, but publishers may not be finding the right balance as of yet. Breaking down data from the nearly 200 million unique viewers who watched an Ooyala-powered video each month in Q1, Ooyala finds that the average video ad load is about 1 per play, regardless of video length. Further analysis reveals that the typical viewer sees an average of only 1 video ad per 24 hours on a given domain or application, suggesting that there is untapped opportunity available to publishers to increase their ad loads.
Although the report cautions publishers to be careful not to turn off viewers with ads that are too frequent, a December 2011 report from FreeWheel discovered that while ad loads substantially increased between Q3 2010 and Q3 2011, video ad completion rates remained stable, indicating that viewers are becoming more comfortable with the increased number of ads in return for viewing valued content.
Connected TV Viewers Most Engaged
Further data from the Ooyala report indicates that connected TV devices and gaming consoles (CTV & GC) are becoming a transformative video viewing medium. While the number of video plays on these devices was flat during Q1, time watched per play increased an impressive 87%. Additionally, the conversion rate on CTV & GC was 75% higher than on PCs.
In fact, CTV & GC viewers demonstrated the highest engagement rate (completing three-quarters of videos) of all devices at all video lengths.
Share of Time Watched on Mobile Jumps
Mobile video also seems to be on the rise: the overall share of time watched for mobile video grew by 41% in Q1, while tablets also saw healthy growth of 32%. Time per play grew by 58% on tablets and 36% on smartphones. Much of this could be attributable to growth in long-form video viewed on these devices. In Q1, around 40% of the time spent watching online video on mobile and tablets was spent watching long-form videos, up from 29% for mobiles and 36% for tablets the previous quarter.
CTV & GC remain the kings of long-form, though: the share of long-form video watched on these devices grew a dramatic 54% quarter-over-quarter, from 57% in Q4 to 88% in Q1. Overall, long-form content accounted for half of the time spent watching online video in Q1.
- On the average weekday in Q1, one-third of tablet video plays took place between 7 PM and 11 PM. This is roughly double the share (17%) of PC plays that occurred during that same time period.
- CTV & GC viewers watched close to one-third more video between 4 PM and 11 PM on Saturdays than on the average weekday evening.
- Although 55% of viewers watched a single video over the course of one day on a single domain, 10% of viewers watched more than 5 videos.
- Engagement rates for mobile devices were relatively on par with PCs for videos 1-3 minutes in length.
About the Data: The data sample used in the Ooyala report covers the first quarter of 2012, from January 1 through March 31. All data was taken from an anonymous cross-section of Ooyala’s global customer and partner database – an array of broadcasters, studios, cable operators, print publications, online media companies and consumer brands. These firms broadcast video to over 130 different countries from more than 6,000 unique domains. Nearly 200 million unique viewers watch an Ooyala-powered video every month.
The data sample is not intended to represent the entire internet, or all online video viewers.