In pre-roll video advertising, size has a measurable impact upon completion rates, per findings [pdf] from a TubeMogul report covering H1 activity on its media buying platform. 15-second ads of less than 1,000 pixels had a completion rate of 79.5%, compared to 90.9% for ads of the same length measuring more than 1,000 pixels. Completion rates were even higher for 30-second ads, at 80.1% for those less than 1,000 pixels, and 96.2% for those above that size.
Video ads on Tier 1 sites (from well-recognized publishers like news outlets, cable providers and sports broadcasters) had the highest completion rate, at 81.3% overall.
Impressions Peak On Friday, CPMs On Tuesdays
Cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs) for pre-roll video ads grew 2.5% per month during H1 2012, reaching a peak of $9.93 in June. CPMs were highest on Tuesdays, at more than $9.05 on comScore Top 100 sites (which the report details account for 29% of all streams available for real-time buying). On weekdays, CPMs for the comScore top 100 generally aligned with share of video viewing, though on Friday, while weekends presented somewhat of a bargain, accounting for 29.6% of the week’s video viewing, but also demonstrating the lowest CPMs, at $8.67.
Pre-roll ads available for real-time buying averaged 211 million daily impressions in H1 2012, which represented an average of 4.7% growth per month.
The CPMs were compiled from average clearing prices on the leading private and public exchanges and reflect the raw cost, without factoring in TubeMogul’s transparent cost, or fees from rich media, 3rd-party targeting, or other partners.
Tier 1 Sites Don’t See Better CTRs
Although ads from well-recognized publishers scored better in completion rates, they saw below-average click-through rates (CTRs), at 1.4% for 15-second pre-rolls. In fact, lower quality sites (dubbed tiers 3 and 4) saw the highest CTRs for the 15-second pre-rolls, while tier 2 sites saw the highest CTRs for 30-second pre-rolls.
In general, 30-second pre-roll ads saw a higher average CTR than 15-second ads, with the former north of 1.5%.
This does not necessarily mean that lower-quality publishers have better success: research from Vindico in April 2012 suggested that completion rates are a more important success metric than CTRs. Based on an analysis of 30 billion video ad impressions it served in 2011, Vindico found that of viewers who navigated past the brands’ landing pages, 96% had previously completed the brands’ video ads without clicking, compared to just 4% who had clicked on the ads. And of those navigating to a checkout page, 98% had completed the brands’ video ads without clicking.
About The Data: Data was culled from advertising campaigns running through TubeMogul’s media buying platform, including over 168.5 million streams from standard pre-roll video ads from major brands. All data is from Q1 and Q2 of 2012 and is US specific unless specified. CPMs are compiled from average clearing prices for sites on the leading private and public exchanges, spanning billions of bids.