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IABNielsen-Effectiveness-Metrics-TV-v-Online-Video-Feb2013Video ads viewed online during full episodes of TV shows have a higher impact than ads viewed on traditional TV or during short-form content online, finds Nielsen [pdf] in a study commissioned by the IAB and sponsored by Microsoft Advertising and Yahoo. The study comes on the heels of a report that Nielsen will be including broadband views in its TV ratings system, though the company has found similar results in previous studies dating back at least to 2010.

According to this latest study, compared to TV ads on broadcast and cable, ads watched online during full episodes of TV shows demonstrate 39% higher general recall, 85% higher brand recall, 100% higher message recall, and 86% higher likability. (The study is limited to brands that streamed online and aired on TV during the same period, and is based on responses up to 1 day post-ad stream.)

Video ads viewed during short-form content also outperformed standard TV ads, though by a far lesser amount. The results are interesting, as they appear in contrast to several studies that have found TV advertising to be more influential to consumers than any form of online ad.

Looking further at the Nielsen and IAB study, the results show that online video ads viewed during full episodes have the highest lift over standard TV ads in the finance, retail, restaurants, hospitality, and pharma verticals, and in the documentary, Sci-Fi, talk, drama, and animation genres.

Meanwhile, compared to standard TV ads, online video ads during short-form content prove most effective for tech, telecom, food & beverage, pharma, and health and beauty advertisers, and demographically, for 18-34-year-old women. Overall, the study finds that online video ads prove more effective across all demos, across all genres, for both CPG and non-CPG advertisers. Point made, in a dizzying array of slides, nonetheless.

Moving past the TV versus online video debate, the study illustrates some interesting viewing behavior within the digital video realm. For example, those viewing long-form content watch ads for 57% longer on average than those viewing short-form content (21.4 seconds vs. 13.6 seconds), and have an 11% higher average completion rate (88% vs. 79%). Also of note, while mid-rolls predictably scored the highest completion rates in both short- and long-form content (99% and 89%, respectively), post-rolls also scored well in this metric, with a 71% completion rate in short-form content and a 79% completion rate in long-form content.

The study defines long-form video as being over 24 minutes long and including full episodes, while short-form refers to less than 24 minutes. Other researchers typically describe short-form content as being much shorter than that, while including a mid-form content category.

Other Findings:

  • Short-form content (according to the Nielsen definition) reaches 92% of the online population, while long-form content reaches just 20%.
  • 95% of online videos streamed are short-form, with just 5% share being long-form. In terms of total time spent streaming videos, short-form content accounts for 83% share.
  • Streamers are more likely to be female than male. But while women prefer long-form videos, the opposite is true for short-form content.
  • Professionally-produced content has a greater reach than user-generated content (91% vs. 80% of the online population).
  • 62% of time spent streaming online video is spent streaming professionally-produced content.

About the Data: For the study, Nielsen conducted a comprehensive analysis of 2011-2012 census, and survey-level TV and online data deployed from the following Nielsen solutions: Nielsen Cross-Platform Homes panel, a single-source opt-in panel measuring TV and online behavior; Nielsen VideoCensus/Video Analytics census data; Nielsen TV/Internet Fusion Data; Nielsen Brand Effect surveys measuring resonance of TV and digital ads.

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