Ad Completion Rates Are High Across the Board, Finds FreeWheel

Good news for online video advertisers: Video ad completion rates are high. This goes for both long and short ads shown on both long-form and short-form content. The info comes from the Q1 2016 Video Monetization Report from online video monetization company FreeWheel. Examining 55 billion video views in Q1, it found an 85 percent completion rate.

FreeWheel2014Q2The highest completion rates came from long-form programming shown on TVs or desktop computers, where rates go far higher than 85 percent. Entertainment and kids videos led the way with stellar completions. Here, mid-rolls did well.

For shorter, snackable videos, completion rates werer lower—around 80 percent. Popular genres here are news and music, with shorter videos relying on pre-roll ads.

While previous studies have shown shorter ads yielding better completion rates than longer ones, FreeWheel says that’s no longer the case. Most of the time, 15- and 30-second ads perform equally well. However, 15-second ads did slightly better with short-form content.

“Consider variables like content duration to find the appropriate ad, optimize user experience, and audiences will reward you with their attention and engagement,” the report says. “Short-form content should offer viewers more succinct messaging.”

Breaking Down the Numbers

FreeWheel offers a deep dive into the stats. First, it determined ad completion rates by genre: entertainment (91 percent), kids (90 percent), sports (84 percent), news (80 percent), and music (74 percent).

Completion rates by device: OTT (93 percent), tablet (85 percent), desktop (84 percent), and phone (78 percent).

Completion rates by content duration: live (95 percent), long-form (94 percent), mid-length (80 percent), and short-form (71 percent).

Completion rates by ad unit: Mid-roll (94 percent), pre-roll (78 percent).

For more download the full Q1 2016 Video Monetization Report for free (registration required). The theme of this report is “The Shared Throne of Premium Video,” where FreeWheel argues that content may be king, but the viewer and the experience now share the throne.


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