Summary:

Mid-rolls beat pre-rolls as the ads you’re most likely to sit through. Viewers stick around through mid-roll ads about 87 percent of the time, according to Adobe. That compares to a 67 percent completion rate for pre-rolls, and a 50 percent completion rate for post-rolls.

couch potato

Oh hey, here’s some shocking news: Online video viewers are much more likely to watch an ad if they’re already interested in the content that it’s been inserted into. According to new research from Adobe, mid-roll video ads are the “most engaging” ad type, outperforming pre-roll and post-rolls when it comes to completion rate.

Viewers stick around through mid-roll ads about 87 percent of the time, Adobe tells us in its 2012 Digital Video Advertising Report. That compares to a 67 percent completion rate for pre-rolls, and a 50 percent completion rate for post-rolls.

It all seems like a “no duh” statistic once you think about it: Instead of inserting a long-ass and disruptive ad before a piece of content, you get the viewer hooked, get him really into what he’s watching and then — BAM! — serve up a mid-roll ad. Scratch that. Serve up a bunch of mid-roll ads.

What’s he gonna do? Give up and stop watching?

No! He’s gonna grit his teeth and watch your crappy ad (or, more likely, switch tabs and check his email really fast) and then continue on with whatever show or movie he was into once it’s over. Win! Viewer stays engaged, (maybe) watches an ad so your advertisers are happy, you get paid. Lather, rinse, repeat.

And it gets even better when you put that stuff on a mobile device, with mid-rolls jumping to a 94 percent completion rate. Because Jesus, if you’re so into a piece of content that you just have to watch it on a tiny screen, chances are you’re not going anywhere when that ad shows up. And live viewing beats the hell out of on-demand viewing in terms of completion rates, because, well, it’s live: Ads in live video get watched a whopping 85 percent of the time, compared to 69 percent for VOD content.

Anyways, so where did Adobe get all this research anyhow, and what’s the purpose behind telling us all about it? Well, the software company behind Flash got the data from recently acquired Auditude, and is using these findings to help promote that deal. Auditude is now part of Adobe’s “Project Primetime” — basically what it’s calling its multiplatform monetization solution. The idea is that with Project Primetime you have a single product for distributing and monetizing all your video views on any number of devices.

Now isn’t that swell? Just don’t screw it up by running too many pre-roll ads.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Keirsten Balukas.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

Comments have been disabled for this post