Long-form and live video delivers higher ad completion rates

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Publishers are scrambling to produce more digital video content to meet advertiser demand for video ad inventory, and some are even turning to automated video creation technologies.

But when it comes to video ad effectiveness, not all video content is created equal.

According to a study by FreeWheel Media, in Q1 2016, ads on long-form video content saw a 95% completion rate, a significantly higher percentage than mid and short-form video content, which delivered completion rates of 80% and 71%, respectively.

Ads associated with live video content, which is one of the biggest video trends of 2016, delivered a 94% completion rate, suggesting that it could quickly become an important part of the video ad ecosystem.

Device matters

FreeWheel Media’s study also found that the device on which video content is consumed also has a meaningful impact on video ad completion rates.

Over-the-top (OTT) devices like connected televisions delivered the highest completion rates (93%), with tablets and desktops following at 85% and 84%, respectively. Mobile lagged with a completion rate of 78%.

Data from TubeMogul found similar results, with video ads displayed on OTT devices delivering 95% completion rates in Q1 2016 and mobile ads delivering completion rates of just 64%.

Implications for publishers and advertisers

That the length of video content and the device it’s displayed on impacts isn’t surprising. But as publishers rush to up the amount of video content they produce, and advertisers clamor to buy all the video ads they can get their hands on, they should keep this in mind.

For publishers, particularly those that are investing in automated video content production, the data indicates that more might be less, at least as far as video ad effectiveness is concerned.

While the production of high-quality, long-form video content is not cheap, if the ads served against it are more effective, publishers that continue to invest in it might ultimately be in a better position.

At the same time, the FreeWheel Media data suggests that the live streaming opportunity is real. But it remains to be seen just how publishers and advertisers will seize the opportunity.

Will offerings like Facebook Live, which is open to all, become viable platforms for advertisers to capitalize on live streaming? Or will the best opportunities rest with live streaming of sporting events and professionally-produced shows, like those Twitter is betting on?

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