Research: Almost half of viewers watch the entire online video ad

For whatever reason, online video ads are being watched pretty thoroughly nowadays, with almost half of all viewers watching the entire ad, according to data compiled by media ad production company Celtra and reported by Rapid TV News.

"Advertisers are keen to know which parts of their videos are the most interesting to viewers and, conversely, where any drop-off happens. Our new video analytics offer the most granular video attention span reporting. said Matevz Klanjsek, Celtra's co-founder and chief product officer in a press release.

Celtra used an analytics platform, AdCreator, to measure total video consumption, average video play time and video attention span, and break down the performance. It also measured ad performance on mobile devices and mobile platforms.

The data was culled from 150 videos used on ads running in the fourth quarter of 2012 and viewed by more than 730,000 people. The ads included "a balanced mix of different video types--movie trailers, TV commercials and product presentations," the press release said.

The research showed that video is the most popular ad feature and that videos don't take much viewer time, averaging 45 seconds, with 80 percent taking under a minute and 46 percent taking less than 30 seconds. Videos also encouraged viewer interaction, with 14.4 percent of viewers (up 50 percent over the third quarter of 2012) interacting with the ad and 47.8 percent watching the entire video.

"Interestingly, the length of the video doesn't have a significant effect on the performance as users typically drop off in the first couple of seconds or tend to watch the video until the end if it proves interesting enough," Klanjsek said.

The research did not reveal whether viewers were locked into watching the whole ad as part of a reward scheme or other restriction placed on it by the content provider but did say content increasingly produced to match mobile viewing devices was essential to the viewing experience.

"Such videos consistently out-perform content produced for other channels and used in mobile ads, such as TV commercials, and can reach completion rates north of 80 percent," Klanjsek said.

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