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BizReport : Advertising archives : February 19, 2010

Pre-roll ads still causing consumers to click away from video

Two recent studies show that online video viewers are becoming increasingly intolerant with perhaps the most dominant form of video ad formats - the pre-roll.

by Helen Leggatt

A study by online video ad network YuMe found that pre-roll ads are becoming less effective. During 2009, online video viewers' click-through rates decreased from 1.88% in Q1 09 to 0.74% in Q4. The percentage of viewers who abandoned ads before they were completed increased within the year - from 66.3% to 74.4%.

The main issue with pre-roll ads is that, on the whole, they can't be skipped, forcing the viewer to sit through them. In an age of immediacy, many viewers just don't have the patience or the will to sit through 15 or 30 seconds of content they didn't request.

Another study, this time by online video analytics firm TubeMogul, also found pre-rolls caused consumers to click away. They found that almost 16% would abandon a video rather than sit through pre-roll ads. On newspaper and magazine sites that number was higher at 25%.

"Consumers have so many choices that 16% are going to leave your content just because you put an ad in front of it," said Brett Wilson, CEO of TubeMogul. "That's a big paradigm shift -- people don't have to watch your ad."

Towards the end of last year, YouTube introduced a "skip" button for pre-roll ads across a select number of advertisers. As of yet no results have been released but, if and when they are, they should make for interesting reading.

Tags: online advertising, online video, pre-roll advertising, video advertising

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