Report: Mid-roll Offers Highest Completion Rates for Advertisers

It should come as a surprise to just about no one that online video viewers are more apt to sit through the commercials in live online content compared to on-demand online content. That’s one of the findings from a recent report from video advertising technology company, Auditude . But what is noteworthy from the study is the willingness of consumers to sit through mid-rolls.

Let’s dive into the numbers and then look at what they mean for brands.

Mid-rolls have the highest completion rate at 75%. That’s clearly because consumers are motivated, in most cases, to finish watching the rest of the video. By contrast, pre-rolls have a 61% completion rate, so clicking away still happens. And post-rolls have a 46% finish rate, so we’re just not terribly apt to watch an ad when we’re done with a show.

Now, when these stats are paired with data on the completion of ads in live content, we get a more complete picture of consumer interaction with video ads and programming. Because Auditude also found that consumers watch ads to completion in live content 86% of the time, compared to 60% of the time in on-demand content. That’s because consumers may not see the programming again. It is perishable; therefore, they watch the ads too.



The upshot is programmers should take a cue from the success of live content AND the success of mid-rolls when planning their online video slates and ad strategies. For starters, programmers might want to add live social elements, such as scheduled tweet streams, social chats, or other social check-in rewards, at scheduled times. Synchronized social apps are another strategy to generate live tune-in. Even if the content is on-demand, programmers can layer in live interaction opportunities.

Of course, there’s another way to generate more engagement with ads. Better content.

“When dealing with content that doesn't need to be watched live online, networks can make the content more engaging,” said Jeremy Helfand, CEO of Auditude. “They can use mid-roll formats because those get higher completions. Both advertisers and networks need to realize on-demand content's relative value, versus the clear premium for live content, which is more scarce and more valuable.”

3 comments about "Report: Mid-roll Offers Highest Completion Rates for Advertisers".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, November 2, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.

    This is such a "tallest midget" debate. The idea that anyone would defend, let alone pursue and promote a marketing strategy that 25% to 40% of the audience rejects outright is idiotic.

    Viewed another way, what do these figures say about the 75% that don't jump ship during the mid-roll and the 60% that don't abandon the pre-roll? It certainly doesn't imply that they're satisfied. They just have a higher tolerance for crap.

    How in the world can we assume that in an on-demand world anyone would want to endure a commercial online that they willingly pay extra to avoid on TV?

  2. Evan Petty from Snowman Productions, LLC, November 2, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

    I agree with Mike. No one wants to watch crappy advertising. And the fact that they don't click out of the video doesn't necessarily mean that they're "watching" it either. It's easy to direct your attention elsewhere until the unwanted intrusion is over. There is only one answer to this problem: great content. Until advertisers start to produce content that the audience actually wants to see, it'll continue to be a losing game.

  3. Todd Koerner from e-merge Media, November 3, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.

    This is a throwback to the old trick of the Batman series in the '60s. Throw in a cliffhanger and get the audience to sit through an ad. It seems to be a matter of careful selection of where in the webisode the ad is inserted. But is that how it really works? And who controls that - the ad supplier or the content producer?

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