Study Finds Viewers Will Engage For Minutes With Online Video

Results from a study released by rich media services provider Accela Communications suggest a new benchmark for online video viewer engagement time. And at 4.6 minutes, it far surpasses the 10.8-second average viewer engagement time reported by other rich media vendors.

The nature of the more than 32,000 in-banner programs analyzed is a big factor in the disparity. Ads built with the AccelaCast inBanner rich media platform were developed specifically with long-form communications in mind. Given a typical program's run time of about 15 minutes, viewer engagement time should naturally skew higher. But according to Bill Reinstein, CEO-president, Accela Communications, it's the Flash-based platform's "navigational scheme that delivers longer engagement times."

A featured banner ad for Cisco systems, for example, clocks in at almost 10 minutes. With video controls and links to client testimonials served within the same banner, the viewer can choose to investigate further without leaving their original destination. The development of platforms such as the AccelaCast inBanner posits that the online video viewer doesn't have to be held captive to be engaged.

In addition to being interactive, "the platform helps our clients reduce costs. They can leverage the media they've captured in one session for both internal and external advertising programs," said Ann Roskey, VP-marketing, Accela Communications.

"For our first foray into the rich media landscape, the AccelaCast inBanner campaign presented a readily quantifiable value," said Linda Chadwick, Manager, TSG Marcomm for HP. Though HP's banner ads ran on Web sites like CIO.com and techtarget.com, Chadwick added, "we maximized the investment by running it on our own homepage as well."

Indeed, as marketers begin to spend a greater percentage of their ad budgets on digital media, rich media products that can function on more than one channel represent an added value opportunity.

Accela Communications is an interactive marketing services firm that specializes in rich media products, services and solutions.