FreeWheel report says consumers still watch online ads

It could be the novelty of the space or it could be the novel ways in which the materials appear—or it could be that viewers want online content so badly they're willing to sit through anything--but a report from FreeWheel indicates that consumers are still watching online advertising, despite an increasingly heavy load of placements in the content they're consuming.

FreeWheel's Second Quarter Video Monetization Report, in fact, determined that "the market for video advertising continues to expand at a faster rate than the viewing of content." Video viewing only grew 10 percent year over year, while video ad volume climbed 68 percent, including increases in long-form advertising content of 20 minutes and beyond and mid-form content from five to 20 minutes.

Even with these apparently disparate results, "video ad completion rates for all content lengths increased since Q1 2012; video ads in long-form content saw completion rates of 91 percent in Q2 2012, video ads in mid-form content saw completion rates of 80 percent and video ads in short-form content saw completion rates of 69 percent."

The report also noted that people are consuming video on more devices, including smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles with more than a billion views in the second quarter, "doubling since Q1 2012."

The fact that video ad placements outpaced video viewing in the quarter "represents an extraordinary opportunity for video content producers: there are dollars available to support the production of this content and indeed, they need to continue to increase their supply," the report said.

It all comes down to an old adage: there's no such thing as a free lunch, and, of course, there's no such thing as free online video.

"Consumers very clearly understand the exchange of ads for professional, mid-form and long-form content, as evidenced by consistently high completion rates," the report said. "The dramatic leap in video ads per long-form view with no decrease in completion rates indicates that there is likely room for increased monetization in television-type content of 20-plus minutes."

It also indicates, perhaps, that there's need for a fast-forward button, which consumers have found so convenient when consuming other more traditional forms of video on their DVR-driven televisions.

For more:
-see this report

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