The performance of mobile banner advertisements doubled in Q4, with higher unit engagement rates, video play rates and video completion rates, per a recent report. On interstitial ad units engagement rates also rose, from 2.5% to 3.4%, while ad expansion rates for expandable banners remained unchanged at 0.66%.
The data, from Celtra's latest Mobile Display Ad Performance Report for Q4, 2014, measures ads that started, ended and ran on the Celtra platform during the fourth quarter of 2014. Ads were part of campaigns with minimum of 100.000 impressions, with each ad running on a minimum of 50.000 impressions. All ads without tracking of events are excluded from the sample.
The data suggests that shares of impressions for banner and interstitial format continue to grow. Banner impressions now represent more than a quarter of all requested impressions. Since Q4 includes the holiday shopping season, it is no surprise that retail represents more than 20% of all quarterly requested impressions.
The retail vertical performed the best in Q4, with a 1.06% ad expansion rate. The highest unit engagement rates for expandable banners served in the Travel segment came in at 23.9% and the Technology segment at 20.9%.
Food & Beverage, at 20.1 seconds, had the longest time spent in an expanded unit. The highest video play rates for user-initiated video served up in Automotive and Entertainment verticals, both 17.7%. The highest video completion rates were measured in the Entertainment and the Technology verticals, both above 70% in the banner format.
Expansion rates in smart video advertising formats rose by 75%. While the engagement rate for standard expandable banners fell 35%, it rose by 30% on smart video formats.
Auto-play video continues to gain in popularity, with 75% of videos in Q4 creative ad units set to auto-play. Video completion rate is 59% in standard expandable banner ads, rising to 71% in smart video expandable banner advertisements.
iOS topped the total requested advertising impressions at 53% for platforms, followed by Android at 44%, and other at 3%. Smartphones took 87% and tablets took the remainder. Some 61% served in apps, compared with 39% in Web browsers.
One thing to note for location-based ads, engagement rated for those with location features peaked in Q4 2014 at 25.7%.