Commentary

Use Of Mid-Roll Ads Rises

Quick. Name one of the fastest-growing video ad units this year.

You guessed mid-roll, right?

Or maybe not.

But this video workhorse ad unit is indeed growing at a quick clip this year. Mid-roll ads rose 24% in use year over year, jumping from 19% of ads in February 2015 to 33% in April, according to a report from Ooyala analyzing video ads across nearly 50 global premium publishers and broadcasters. Pre-rolls still lead the pack, but they dropped from 75% of all ads in 2015 to 60% in April. Post-rolls don’t account for a large portion of ad inventory.

Perhaps the growth in mid-rolls is the result of marketers moving away from front-loaded pre-roll ads. Studies have consistently revealed that content with heavy pre-roll ad loads often has a higher drop-off rate before videos even start. On the flip side, higher engagement in both the content and ads comes when programmers rely more on mid-roll ads, Ooyala said.

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Pre-roll abandonment is five times more likely than mid-roll abandonment. Also, mid-roll ads often feel like TV, and viewers are accustomed to the notion of a commercial break.  In general, mid-roll ads generate a 90% ad-completion rates, while pre-rolls garner a 78% completion rate.

Relying on an ad strategy closer to TV can help bring more business into online video advertising. A study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau on video ad spending found that 72% of marketing and media buying executives plan to move more ad spend out of TV into online video.

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