Video Essentials

Samplers, Catch-Ups, and Enthusiasts: Understanding the Audience

Not all viewers are the same, and understanding that is at the heart of the latest Video Monetization Report from FreeWheel.

freewheel2016q2In creating their Q2 2016 report, the video monetization experts at FreeWheel hypothesized that more dedicated viewers would not only view more online programming, but would watch and engage with more ads, as well. If it were possible to identify dedicated viewers, advertisers could serve them tailored ads and drive increased commitment.

After analyzing long-form video viewing in April 2016, FreeWheel came up with three types of viewers:

  • Samplers: These casual viewers typically watch less than half of episodes and only watch mid-roll ads to completion 71 percent of the time. They have a high drop-off rate at 24 percent. FreeWheel says “they are generally looking for content to connect with rather than seeking out a specific show.”
  • Catch-Up Viewers: This group has high episode completion rates, the highest mid-roll completion rates (93 percent), and the lowest ad drop-off rates (12 percent). However, they only visit once or twice per month, catching up on programs they normally watch on linear TV.
  • Digital Enthusiasts: This group has high episode completion rates and strong mid-roll ad completion (87 percent) and ad drop-off (18 percent) rates. They also visit three or more times per month and have a 7.3x impression lift over Samplers. This group looks to digital content first.

While advertisers already market different messages to different groups, FreeWheel notes that they rarely break the audience down by consumption. But perhaps they should: Increasing the number of Catch-Up Viewers and Digital Enthusiasts in the target group leads to more ad impressions served and more revenue, FreeWheel says.

“We’ve uncovered that certain audiences watch more content and are more engaged with the content, which perpetuates a virtuous cycle of greater engagement with advertising and better business outcomes for marketers,” the report notes. “A focus on audience-informed user experience may drive further commitment and therefore monetization.”

For much more on the current video ad market, download FreeWheel’s Q2 2016 Video Monetization Report for free (registration required).


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