Mid-Roll Video Ad Completion Nearly 100%, Finds FreeWheel Report

Want viewers to complete your video ads? Buy mid-rolls.

Video monetization company FreeWheel has just released its Q2 2017 Video Monetization Report, and it finds mid-rolls on full episode premium content enjoy a 97 percent completion rate. While there’s still concern that viewers are being put off by poor streaming ad experiences, they’re sitting though the ads for premium programming.

The rate for live premium video is nearly as high: 92 percent completed mid-rolls on live premium programming.

These rates are far above the overall online video average completion rate of 73 percent. The key is engagement, FreeWheel says: “Viewers that seek out full-episode and live streamed content are looking to immerse themselves in that content, and that mindset seems to extend to the mid-roll advertising as well.”

The average completion rate for all premium video ads in Q2 was 85 percent.

Mid-roll breaks averaged 3.9 ads in Q2, FreeWheel says, with a total time of 100 seconds. In good news, 84 percent of full episode programming didn’t repeat ads throughout the viewing session, solving a problem that greatly annoys viewers.

Online video starts were up 26 percent year-over-year and video ad views were up 17 percent. FreeWheel sees a mix of forces creating this rise, including viewers increasingly choosing to drop cable and satellite subscriptions, broadcast TV ratings falling, and companies from both the broadcast and online worlds aggressively launching new online properties to increase their supply of premium inventory.

Advertisers like what they see, as their investments in online video are up. eMarketer predicted a 24 percent year-over-year rise in digital video ad spending for 2017, the report notes. In Q2, most of that inventory was direct sold, with programmatic channels used to fill in the gaps and monetize unsold programming.

Much of the viewing rise came from the increased adoption of over-the-top (OTT) video, which made up 29 percent of all online video ad views in the second quarter. Desktop views declined to 27 percent, which FreeWheel says is the lowest rate since it started tracking the area 5 years ago.

In Q2 2017, 61 percent of online video ad views came from full episodes (with views up 17 percent YOY) and 21 percent came from live video (with views up 40 percent YOY). Short clips saw a decline to 18 percent, with views down 2 percent YOY.

For more, download the full report for free (registration required).


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