While online video ad success is often measured by click-through rates, research from Vindico has argued that completion rates are actually a more important indicator of ad effectiveness. Results from a new study by TubeMogul support that position: according to [pdf] the report, viewers exposed to a pre-roll video ad demonstrated higher brand awareness and message association than a control group that did not watch the ad – and the lift was significantly higher among viewers who completed the ad.
In terms of brand lift among the overall group exposed to an ad (compared to the control group that was not), the report finds a 3.6% lift in awareness, a marginal 0.1% increase in favorability, a 8.3% boost in message association, and a 2.4% gain in purchase intent or consideration.
Among those who completed the video ad, though, the lift in brand awareness almost doubled (from 3.5% to 6.9%), while the lift in message association more than doubled (from 8.3% to 20.5%).
TubeMogul’s report notes that “for the purposes of this research, “lift” is defined as the absolute difference (subtraction) between the percent of correct answers of exposed viewers (people who saw the ad) and a control group (people that did not see the ad). “Correct” answers are defined as the answer that the brand desires and indicates a positive perception of the brand by the survey taker.”
Pre-Roll Completion Rates Steady
So if completion rates are so important, where do they stand? In Q3, video ads on Tier 1 sites (from well-recognized publishers like news outlets, cable providers and sports broadcasters) saw an 84.9% completion rate, up from 81.8% in the first half of the year. While the average completion rate for ads on Tier 2 sites dropped (from 76.9% in H1 to 70.7% in Q3), it remained steady for ads on Tier 3 and 4 sites (at 82.2% in Q3).
Pre-Roll Inventory Grows; CPMs Drop Slightly
TubeMogul’s latest quarterly research report shows that the volume of pre-roll ads available for real-time bidding has increased steadily during the year, by 7.3% per month through September. That growth has been most rapid in the past 3 months, averaging 323.6 million impressions per day.
Probably as a result of that growth, cost-per-thousand (CPM) for pre-roll video ads has dropped, down from $8.83 in H1 to $8.18 in Q3.
- Video ads had the greatest lift in purchase intent for the electronics/computer vertical (10.9%), followed by online services (4.8%), entertainment (2.3%), and CPG (2.2%).
- Before dipping in Q3, CPMs grew by 2.5% per month through the first half of the year.
About the Data: Data for the report comes from top brand campaigns run through TubeMogul’s media buying platform in the U.S. in the third quarter, spanning hundreds of millions of impressions across standard pre-roll video ads. Brand lift data comes from TubeMogul’s BrandSights survey technology, which launched in September and now counts over 75,000 survey respondents.
CPMs represent average clearing prices for pre-roll ads on thousands of sites available from the leading private and public exchanges, spanning billions of bids. As such, they reflect the raw cost (i.e. what goes directly to the publisher), before TubeMogul’s transparent cost is added, or fees from rich media, 3rd-party targeting, brand surveys or other partners.