Pre-roll Ads Most Tolerable Video Ad Format [Report]

Yahoo! surveyed 1,775 consumers in the 16-44 age range who are regular online video viewers, several time a week at the least. Some of the results seem counter-intuitive to what many other reports have found. I guess it depends on who you survey, what platform you survey form and when you survey.

Paying for video seems to be not all that popular with the Yahoo! survey respondents. Just 35% said they would make micro payments for video while just 25% would pay monthly subscription fees for video. But the question is, are they talking about things like news video clips you find on Yahoo!? I mean, presumably, the audience they surveyed was theirs and not say, Netflix users.

Now, 35% of the U.S. online video viewing population is about 66 million people so that’s not all that bad. 25% is 47.25 million and that would be a fairly large SVOD subscriber base.

The research also showed that the video viewers are pretty ad savvy. Over half (57%) expect online advertising to be “more interactive.” More interactive than what immediately sprang to my mind. Than TV or print? Surely. Than other forms of digital advertising? Well, who knows, because I can’t find the exact wording of the question.

Privacy seems to be less of an issue to these surveyed consumers;

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 13.09.07

 

 

Nearly half of the respondents expect online advertising to be relevant to them and 55% expect to have some choice in the ads that are shown to them. So overall, about half of the respondents are ad savvy where they have some passing familiarity with interactivity, engagement, ad relevance and targeting and ad choice, presumably in pre-roll ads.

The quality expectation for online video content has come close to that from TV.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 13.08.14

This question seems a bit leading to me. Were they asking about appealing or disruptive or a combination of both? Take a look at this slide from a Yahoo! presentation of the results (the typo is theirs I assure you). It’s entirely possible that the “How acceptabile [sic] are each of these ads ?” was the exact question I suppose.

yahoo video ad format acceptance

Here’s that part where I said tolerable because just 22% said that pre-rolls are more acceptable, apparently in regards to the others. Second was interactive ads which had an 18% approval rating, even though in the same slide show 57% said they expect the ads to be more interactive. Sponsorships also got 18% of the vote. Tied at 15% were banner and wrapped banners and mid-rolls were least acceptable in the reported results.

For video player ads there’s a 10% difference in acceptance of mid-roll and pre-roll. I hate pre-rolls personally, especially when the ad is paired with a piece of content that is less than 200% of the ad length. In terms of relevant targeting, 42% said they would be happy to share shopping information to get more relevant ads, another 42% said they might consider it and 16% said No .

Finally a few key take aways for advertisers;

  • Take into account daypart, device type, and demeanor

  • •Don’t get in the way of what the user wants to do

  • •Use data wisely and respectfully when targeting

  • •Contribute to the value exchange and reciprocity

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Online Content Videos Exceed 50 Billion Monthly Views in December 2013

comScore, via the Video Metrix report, has stated that, for the first time ever, a single month of online video viewing has purportedly topped 50 billion video views. I say purportedly because, as we are all aware by now, it’s not really the truth based on the way that they choose to track video views. Any 3-second viewing of a video is included, multiple views are included for a single piece of content, etc. Here’s their definition once again:

A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream. Video views are inclusive of both user-initiated and auto-played videos that are viewed for longer than 3 seconds.

So while it may be 50 billion views by that metric, it’s most probably a lot, lot less in terms of what other people consider a piece of video content, for example, an episode of a television show. A single episode on Hulu is accounting for 3 or more views in the comScore Video Metrix based on the number of ad pods (n) which means (n+1) video views, so please take 50 billion views with a large grain of salt. Five ad pods in a single episode then results in six reported video views.

Facebook Overtake AOL in Battle For Top Online Video Content Property, But Both Still Miles Behind Google

The total increase over November is just over 5 billion views, with a drop in minutes per viewer of just around 13 minutes per along with a drop in total viewers of almost a million. So in a nutshell less people spent less time watching videos online in December than November, yet generated 5 billion more views at least according to comScore.

The real news in the numbers is Facebook who, remarkably, bumped AOL for second place. But there’s a reason for that because comScore notes:

Facebook’s December 2013 online video viewership, particularly the number of video views, is substantially higher than prior months due to both organic and inorganic factors. The largest (and inorganic) source of increase is the recent inclusion, following a technical validation effort, of a significant volume of short (typically 6-second) Vine videos that have been uploaded to Facebook. The other, and currently less significant, factor is the limited roll-out in December of auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook minutes per viewer also went up from 28 to 50 in a single month, and in addition they added 13 million viewers and nearly tripled the amount of views. So those autoplay videos are counting as views clearly. I suppose that hypothetically, they were in the viewing window of the browser and could, again hypothetically, have been viewed by someone. But that’s a lot of hypotheticals on which to base such important numbers.Still, it’s no more shaky than their 3-second rule for video views I guess. This is all information to take into account when you use these numbers for business or for ad buying.

top us ad video content properties dec 2013

 

Video Ad Networks Explode?

It was just like a year ago when a single video ad network broke the 1 billion ads in a month mark. Now, if you’re not reaching that mark, you don’t make the top ten. Well, OK, there is still one spot in the top ten below that mark which is Videology with 991 million video ads in December 2013. At the top end of the spectrum is AOL with over 4 billion video ads in December. We should start a pool on who hits 5B first and then another for 10B video ads.

The whole video ad industry, at least those tracked by comScore, accounted for 35,235,361,000 video ads, roughly 0.67 video ads per comScore video view. That’s roughly an ad per 1.5 video views. December also saw an average frequency of 204.1 video ads per viewer for 55.6% of the US population. That boils down to a video ad every 5.7 minutes and an average ad length of 0.38 minutes or 23 seconds. Finally, video ads accounted for 40.2% of all videos viewed, which is misleading due to their determination of a video view. It’s probably more like 3:1 ads to video content files views. For example, if every video viewed and tracked by comScore was bisected with an ad pod, the total video file views fall to 26.2 billion, while video ad views remain at 35.2B. Granted, comScore also states that the average online content video is 4.2 minutes. 5.7% of all time viewing videos last month online, was watching ads.

top us video ad properties dec 2013

 

 

Top YouTube Partner Channels: VEVO Still Triumphant

Has anyone ever wondered if there’s a YouTube channel that’s not a YouTube Partner channel but is getting more than 16.3 million uniques per month? Either way, none can top VEVO most likely, what with its 38,460,000 unique viewers a month which is about 20.4% of all video viewers online and roughly 11.4% of the US population. They average 51.1 minutes each. SureMaker Studios has 72.2 minutes each for their 24.7 million uniques, but they’re a full 100 million videos behind per month. Fullscreen put up a good fight as well with 27.3M uniques, and 40.9 minutes average but showed just 358.3M videos. The one stat I would like to see in this chart is total uniques for these channels. Because as far as we can tell there are just 38.46M unique viewers for all of them which is just 20.4% of all Google/YouTube video viewers. Really, it has to be more like 50% given the wide range of topics for the top ten channels.

top youtube channels dec 2013

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Five Trends That Will Define Branded Video In 2014

Branded video reached new heights in 2013. More than 38% of new campaigns achieved more than 1 million views in 2013, compared with 26% in the year prior. And 5% of campaigns reached more than 10 million views, compared to 3% the year before.

In 2012, brands saw campaigns like Red Bull’s “Stratos,” Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012,” and Rovio’s “Angry Birds Space” become mega viral hits. The result of that success was that brands began to see producing quality content – not just ads – as an important weapon in their marketing arsenals.

So in 2013, the name of their game was perfecting the brand story. And in this regard, many brands succeeded this year. Brands were able to drive big views consistently throughout the year.

The biggest campaign of 2013, “Real Beauty Sketches,” came from video veteran Dove. This emotional campaign questions women’s self-image with the help of a trained FBI sketch artist. While the short film met with a warm reception, for the most part, some critics felt that the ad patronized women. But that debate didn’t hurt the brand; the media coverage that ensued only helped to lengthen the life of the video and drive views up to more than 136.2 million views.

Other brands that hit it big included Volvo Trucks, which emerged from obscurity with “Live Test” starring Jean Claude Van Damme. Pepsi MAX pulled off a stunt in “Gordon Test Drive,” and Internet Explorer called on our nostalgia with “Child of the ‘90s.”

So what does 2014 hold for branded video? Based on the successes of 2013, here are five trends that I think will flourish in the coming year:

  • Longer-form, cinematic content: The draw of branded video is the freedom it gives brands to tell their stories outside of the 30-second TV spot. So videos like True MoveH’s “Giving,” were longer and more cinematic.
  • Stoking the debate: Some of the biggest video stories in the 2013 came from brands that incited debate. Cheerios, for example, achieved its biggest success to date with “Just Checking,” which opened a long debate about interracial families and their portrayal in the media late last year. Did they mean to start the debate? Probably not, but it did keep their brand in headlines for weeks.
  • More interactivity: Old Spice produced one of the most viral interactive campaigns with 2010’s “Responses.” It produced another in 2012 with “Muscle Music,” which allowed viewers to create their own music inside of a video. And last year Intel and Toshiba released its third social film, “The Power Inside,” which allowed viewers to shape the campaign’s story through social media. Interactive campaigns like these only work when viewers actually engage with them. As the video universe gets more crowded, brands will be looking for unique ways to attract and engage viewers, and interactivity is a great way to do both.
  • Real-time campaigns: At last year’s Super Bowl, Oreo became the poster child for real-time marketing with its half-time tweet, while Coca Cola’s campaign changed based on the score of the game. Both brands had good feedback from their campaigns, which seemed more relevant because of how timely they were.
  • Encouraging user-generated content: Some of the most successful campaigns of the last year benefited from user-generated content. Volvo Trucks’ “Live Test” generated more than 30 million of its more than 111 million views from user-generated content – spoofs, mashups, copies, responses, etc. Besides showing how engaged viewers are with a brand’s campaign, user-generated content that takes off can extend the life of a campaign.

These trends – and the more cinematic, provocative, imaginative, and engaging campaigns that they produce – will lead to one thing: views skyrocketing higher than ever before. As we have seen every year for the past five years, overall views in 2014 will surpass 2013, as brands continue to break new ground and perfect their video storytelling and strategies. If you are looking for advice in producing effective video marketing campaign’s then please get in touch with our team atbespokevideoproduction.com.

Facebook’s Video Ads Risk Alienating Users

Facebook said it would begin selling video advertisements later this week, a move that may help the social-networking giant capture a share of the annual $66.4 billion TV advertising market.

Some advertisers rejoiced Tuesday when Facebook introduced long-awaited video advertisements. A bigger question is how users will react.

Marketers “have to be sensitive,” said Tony Pace, chief marketing officer for the Subway sandwich chain, which advertises on Facebook. “If someone said [this video ad] is going to run whether consumers want it or not, that would give me pause,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for the coming sci-fi film “Divergent,” would begin appearing Thursday, marking an effort by the world’s largest social network to grab a slice of the $66 billion annual U.S. TV advertising pie.

The video ads, which the company says are still being tested to a limited number of users, will start playing automatically as users scroll through their news feed, the central real estate in Facebook’s desktop and mobile platforms. They will initially play without sound; users can stop the ad by scrolling past it in the news feed.

Some users are wary. “This may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back,” said Lee Kirschbrown, a senior citizen in Tampa, Fla., who is irked by existing Facebook ads. Video ads “will only make me madder,” he said.

Facebook said its first video ad, a teaser for sci-fi film ‘Divergent,’ would begin appearing Thursday. Shown, Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.Associated Press

In a November survey of 735 Facebook users by global marketing consultancy Analytic Partners, 83% of users said they would find video ads “intrusive” and would likely “ignore” them.

Marketers are more enthusiastic. “Video is really powerful,” said Shelby Saville, managing director at Spark, a media-buying unit of Publicis “Using sight, sound and motion is a way to get consumers to have an emotional connection to the brand, if it’s well done,” she added.

Video advertising isn’t available to all advertisers, and Facebook didn’t say when it would expand the offering.

Many advertisers will be priced out of the market. Facebook is charging around $2 million per day for the ability to reach its 140 million U.S. users aged 18 to 54, according to media buyers. Some media buyers said they found the price surprisingly high.

Facebook began pitching advertisers on video ads about a year ago, giving several advertisers and media buyers a sneak peek last January during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. In September, Facebook began quietly testing auto-play videos.

Subway was among the companies that placed ads containing video that users had to start manually. Mr. Pace of Subway said roughly 88 million people saw the ad and “millions” of people clicked on it. “It worked pretty darn well,” he added.

Media buyers said advertisers would be more interested in video ads if Facebook allowed them to better target specific sets of users. Facebook currently allows advertisers to target video ads by gender and age, but not by interests, as it does for traditional ads. “Advertisers always need more data than simply impressions and reach,” said Vik Kathuria, global head of digital investment at Mediacom, a media buying firm owned by WPP.

“This news further confirms that Facebook has abandoned social marketing in favor of standard push-style ads,” said Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott.

Ad experts say it is no surprise that a movie studio was the first video advertiser, since consumers typically are more interested in movie trailers than ads for more mundane products like soup or toilet paper.

“A movie is perfect for this,” said Jordan Bitterman, chief strategy officer at Mindshare, the media buying agency that brokered the ad deal for Lions Gate Entertainment  “Americans love films and when you show a movie trailer there is always going to be a certain part of the audience that really likes it,” he added.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year-To-Year [REPORT]

More information from the FreeWheel Q3 2013 Video Monetization Report shows that video ad viewing is continuing its healthy double-digit growth. While video views dropped slightly in the third quarter of this year, video ads still managed to claw some ground from the previous quarter. Remember, this report is based around Programmers or multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) and Digital Pure-Plays. MVPDs are mostly linear TV revenue driven but offer some IP-based options as well (broadcast networks, cable companies). Digital Pure-Plays are mostly IP-based revenue driven, aggregate content of others and are now starting to make their own (think Netflix, Amazon, etc). The data is for rights-managed, professionally made (not user-generated), aggregate monetization from FreeWheel customers which include FOX, Sky, NBCU, Viacom, Dish, DirecTV

Video views did climb 20% since Q3 2012, so it’s not like that is stagnant, it just lost a bit of ground Q3 vs Q2 this year. Video ad loads are clearly on the rise since video ad viewing has outpaced video viewing by 11%, but without the hard numbers we can’t see exactly what the change is here in terms of ads per video. Additionally, we don’t know what constitutes a view for the report.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Who has shown the ads is fairly steady with less MVPD ads this year over last. Seems that the Digital Pure-Plays are trying to recoup more of the licensing costs as they have a larger percentage now.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Ad Loads Rise, Completion Rates Steady

So even though ad views saw a 31% increase over the past year, it seems that the completion rate of those ads hasn’t gone up, but it was already incredibly high at around 90%. The ad load has increased from 9.1 to 11.6, 29% growth in that area. The high completion rate is most likely due to the ads being embedded in the content and not being able to be fast forwarded over, not through any higher reception by the online viewers I’m sure.

Of course, these types of content publishers want TV-level ad loads, because it’s mostly TV content. I don’t know that it’s going to go over so well with the Millennials who don’t use TVs all that much and are used to lower ad loads online. This could be a point where the industry pushes too far and ends up losing out again, sort of like the cable companies with their subscriber losses over the past few quarters. Too expensive, too much channel bloat, too many restrictions = less subscribers. Online it might simply be too many ads (even in line with linear TV) = less viewers eventually. It could even tip more users over to piracy meaning the content publishers would be making zero on those views. Best to err on the side of caution, but somehow, I don’t see them thinking that way.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Short Form Used to Maximize Monetization?

The report looks a lot at short form content. This would include all of those show clips and highlight reels that can be found online, usually with ads on them. So it’s sort of like watching a pre-roll ad, to then watch an ad about the show you want to watch. Granted, the video is actual content from the show but is usually under five minutes, quite often a single scene from a TV show episode bookended with ads. Personally, I refuse to sit through an ad of any length when the video I want to watch is less than a minute, but that could just be my draconian view of it all. The MVPDs seem to be dropping that sort of thing a bit while the Digital Pure-Plays seem to be picking up on it.

30-Second Ads Dominate in Views and Completion

Finally, in long-form content, 30-second ads are king nabbing 65% of views. On short-form content they’re just under half of all ad views (49%). 60-second spots had a whopping 2% on long-form and nothing on short-form (clearly they’re not looking at YouTube in this report).

Meanwhile, completion rates favored the 30-second ads as well except in the long-form content where 15-second ads edged their mid-length brethren by 5%.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

But again, it’s TV Everywhere we’re talking about here and most of the ads cannot be skipped so if the viewer wants to see the rest of the content, they must watch the ads. Completion rates are almost a moot point there. The fact that they’re not all 100% should say something, people are ditching out, either on the ads at the end of content or at the beginning when a 30-second ad shows up on a short-form video of 2 minutes or less. I know they’re trying to show the rosy side of life, but let’s face it, many video viewers despise ads and would do almost anything to get away from them, including pay  a subscription. I would much rather pay a monthly fee than have to suffer through pointless advertisements that are not of interest to me and have zero bearing on my buying or viewing habits. OK, that’s not totally true. I have gone out of my way to avoid a brand because of the massive amount of times I see their ads against some VOD content. So well done, they’ve instilled a total aversion and massively negative brand image in my mind.

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Video Ad Viewing Up 31% Year To Year, Completion Rates Flat [REPORT]

Where Branded Content Dollars Are Going; Publishing companies gain share, ad agencies shrink [Survey]

Marketers continue to be in love with their own content. Spending on branded content is set to reach $1.8 million this year, or 37 percent of marketers’ ad budgets, up from $1.7 million in 2012, per a Custom Content Council survey.

The lion’s share of that is going into print. Spending on publications rose the most of three measured categories in 2013, to just over $1 million from $775,000 in 2012. Spending on electronic content was up 13.8 percent to $574,490 and spending on other content shrank to $264,423.

That would seem to bode ill for magazines. Seventy-three percent of respondents said branded content is better than magazine ads, a sizable increase over 2012, when 66 percent said so. Sixty-three percent said branded content was superior to TV advertising, 62 percent favored branded content to direct mail, and 59 percent said it trumps public relations.

One big question for marketers is whether to outsource their content creation or generate it in-house. Forty percent of respondents said they’re doing some outsourcing, down from 56 percent in 2012. But those who are only outsourcing are doing bigger projects, spending an average of more than $1 million this year, up 5.5 percent.

Those marketers are increasingly bypassing traditional ad agencies for other types of firms to handle their content creation. Magazine publishers who may be losing ad dollars to branded content seem to be making it up on the custom content side. The biggest recipient of outsourcing is publishing firms, which got 36 percent of that spending, up from 32 percent last year. Design firms and ad agencies saw their shares shrink. PR/marketing firms’ share rose slightly, and interactive firms’ share was flat.

Marketers look to increase social video ad placements

Marketers look to increase social video ad placements

Digital video viewing is mainstream, and eMarketer estimates that 182.5 million people in the US, or 75% of all internet users, will view digital videos this year, and video advertising spending will increase by more than 40% in 2013 as well.

Video viewership and social sharing are closely intertwined; for example, an April 2013 blinkx survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that more than 40% of social network users watch TV or online video and simultaneously discuss content with their friends&mdashthe percentage was even higher among respondents ages 18 to 34, 14% of whom said they “always/often” do so.

Despite the connection between social network users and video content, social video advertising is still nascent. According to “Demystified: Video Advertising on Social Networks,” an August 2013 study from Mixpo, 8.5% of agency executives said they were underperforming on social video advertising, and none of the respondents said they were experts in the medium, according to the report.

Advertisers’ admitted lack of sophistication doesn’t mean they aren’t testing and experimenting. According to the Mixpo report, nearly 70% of agency executives planned to advertise on YouTube in 2014, while nearly one-quarter expect to run video ads on Twitter and about one in seven on LinkedIn. Though video advertising as Mixpo defines it doesn’t yet exist on Facebook, Instagram or Vine, nearly half of respondents to the survey said they would work video ads into their Facebook marketing mix if given the opportunity.

For social network users, identifying paid advertising and owned content marketing is often a blurry line. Mixpo’s definition of video advertising excludes branded video posts on social sites, but it doesn’t denote whether it refers to sponsored video posts, which are likely to be the types of paid video ads that will first find their way into Facebook, Instagram and Vine, given the networks’ respective user interfaces (and opportunities in mobile). Notably, Unisphere Research found in an August 2013 survey that nearly 60% of marketers would like to increase their video content in social networks&mdashmore than any other content category.

Social network advertising is unique because it requires marketers to fit in context with content rather than standing out from what the user is viewing, as a television or digital video programming advertisement is designed to do. As a result, sponsored video content may in turn be the most suitable way for advertisers to integrate and ingratiate themselves within social network users’ information feeds.

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