3_2012_adobeAdobe’s published it‘s first Digital Video Advertising report in April this year. It analyzes consumer behaviors around online ad engagement providing media companies and premium content owners with insight to identify increased ad revenue potential.

The study tracks how viewers’ response to online ads around video content is impacted by content type, length of video stream, ad format, placement and device, and indicates growing similarities between the consumption of video ads online and traditional broadcast commercials.

Key findings include:

• Mid-roll video ads, the most engaging commercial position, easily out perform completion rates of pre-rolls and post-rolls. With an 87% completion rate, mid-rolls are performing close to 30% better than pre-rolls.

• Completion rates on mobile devices are the highest of any environment at 94%, suggesting that mobile viewers are highly engaged and willing to watch ads as part of the content experience on the go.

• Live content is king for advertisers. Video ads are in general more successful when included in live content than with video-on-demand (VOD). The completion rate during live content is 85%, 23% higher than with ads in VOD.

• We are seeing the growing similarities between broadcast and online delivery of ads. An average of 5.5 video ads are being served as part of long-form, professional content. With a completion rate of 70%, viewers are willing to watch and engage with ads online in exchange for premium video content.

• Completion rates of ads in professional content (72%) tend to be higher compared to user generated content (UGC, 63%). This indicates a highly-engaged, focused audience that is willing to watch ads as part of professional content.

• The majority of overlay ads are delivered across UGC while the majority of linear ads are delivered across professional content. In terms of linear ads, mid-rolls in professional content are performing better than in UGC.

graph1Completion rates by content type

In-stream video ads show higher completion rates when viewed in long-form as opposed to short-form content (defined by less than five minutes). Mid-rolls have the highest completion rate totaling 94% on mobile devices, suggesting that mobile viewers are highly engaged and willing to watch ads as part of the content experience on the go.

Completion rates by spot position

Although pre-roll video ads are dominant for in-stream advertising, mid-rolls are the most engaging ad format, outperforming completion rates by nearly 30% in comparison to post-rolls and 20% more than pre-rolls. Compared to data from the first six months in 2011, completion rates for all video ads are at a record high.


Viewers complete in-stream ads much more often on professional content than UGC. In long-form professional content, 5.5 ads are viewed per stream, versus 3.4 ads per stream for short-form professional content, 0.6 ads per stream for long-form UGC and 0.4 ads per stream for short-form UGC.

Click through rates:
Live vs. VOD
Click through rates (CTR) of ads on VOD content are significantly higher (2.17%) than for live content (0.43%). These results are similar to live streaming and TV simulcast ad experiences where the advertising goal is often more focused on brand awareness and lift as opposed to an immediate call-to-action.
Live vs. on-demand
Completion rates of ads in live content are significantly higher (85%) compared to VOD (69%), which indicates that viewers understand they may miss an opportunity to see the content once the live event is over.

By Anjum Siddiqi