An End To Invisible Video Advertising

Half of all Internet advertising bought by brands is not seen by Web users -- a shocking statistic about a situation that’s worsening by the year, thanks to the rise of programmatic buying. In 2012 comScore estimated that 31% of advertising was not seen; this number rose to 54% in 2013.

The recent announcement that GroupM will soon withdraw from open ad exchanges and operate solely on private exchanges clearly demonstrates that the lack of transparency and fraud in online advertising has reached an unsustainable level. It is time for an industrywide rethink.

For video advertising the situation is potentially even more precarious, due to the domination of pre-roll advertising formats. In-stream formats like pre-roll force web users to watch an ad before they are able to view their chosen video content. Leaving fraud, which accounts for 12% of all impressions, aside for now, the biggest threat to viewability is user behavior. Today’s internet users have developed lightening quick reflexes to avoid advertising they do not wish to watch. They open a new tab or window, mute the sound the very instant an unwanted advertisement appears in front of their video content.

A recent study by Tubemogul revealed that 70% of all non-viewable impressions are non-viewable because the window in which the video is playing is no longer on the screen. Once bot traffic is discounted, the viewability of pre-roll advertising drops to 22% on average and 48% in premium environments. Ultimately advertisers who buy on CPM are paying between two and five times more than they should.

To combat the issues surrounding viewability, we have decided to join the Open VV consortium, created by Tubemogul, Innovid, Brightroll and Liverail, which develops technology able to precisely measure the viewability of videos from beginning to end. This technology can address the issues of transparency and fraud surrounding video advertising, and turn them into strengths.

Although monitoring viewability is key, it is more important to develop formats that encourage the user to watch an ad, not avoid it at all costs. Returning to the topic of pre-roll advertising, it is clear to me that the days of non-skippable pre-roll advertising are numbered. It is impossible to force a Web users to watch ads if they do not want to. Web users are not in the same frame of mind as those watching TV at the end of a long day, half asleep and too lazy to change the channel during the ad breaks. As we already seen, the majority of Internet users do escape pre-roll ads. And I am not even sure that the minority who do not is necessarily the most interesting target for brands.

We believe that ads have more value when Web users intentionally view them. Video ads are often highly entertaining and great quality, and can be offered as relevant content, not a painful toll that must be paid before video content can be viewed.

In the last few years, we have been placing the campaigns within the heart of the articles on media sites, thanks to click-to-play or even better, view-to-play formats. The view-to-play concept is an efficient and elegant solution to the challenge of viewability in video advertising. But it also has another benefit: it opens huge new premium video inventory in the world’s largest media sites. The availability of such premium inventory, on a global scale, can only be good news for advertisers, agencies and media owners alike.

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5 comments about "An End To Invisible Video Advertising".
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , July 7, 2014 at 3:05 p.m.
    You seem disappointed that you can no longer coerce human attention to monetize your intrusive message. You want to "encourage" people to waste their time? I maintain that even the most relevant, entertaining and high-quality video ads are still a nuisance to most viewers most of the time.
  2. Ben Thomas from Ebuzzing , July 8, 2014 at 8:48 a.m.
    Hi Douglas. I don't think you've taken into account the point that advertising enables users to consume content for free. If publishers decide to use an ad model to monetise their valuable content (rather than charging users with a subscription fee), surely it is better to have ad formats that allow users to control their experience? And formats that also deliver a fair deal to advertisers, by only charging them when users have actually seen & shown an interest in their advertising.
  3. David Barrassin from Cmp , July 8, 2014 at 11:48 a.m.
    Hi all ! I totally agree with Douglas. With video advertising you are moving internet from a reading media to the new television. As far as I know whe I'm reading a newspaper mag I can turn the page (or not) when I'm reading an article. I think video adversting is much more intrusive than ads in TV because your reading is suddenly interrupted or can't start before seconds and seconds. So, what may be good for your business (wanna be bought by a Major for billions of $ ?) is not for people. So my advice is video ad = CTRL+W
  4. Thomas Owadenko from Octoly , July 9, 2014 at 2:52 a.m.
    Not sure to understand why a seeding company would join this consortium...MAy be hard for me to understand your positionning....
  5. Pierre Grandmaison from Teads , July 12, 2014 at 8:55 a.m.
    Hi Thomas, Pierre Chappaz is the president of the group "Ebuzzing and Teads". While Ebuzzing have a strong business in video seeding, Teads.TV is the leading platform in innovative video advertising solutions for the world's most prestigious publishers. It makes full sense for the group to join this consortium as Teads.TV has been the first company in the world to guarantee full video advertising viewability and CPCV model to advertisers.