Pre-Roll vs Mid-Roll Video Ads; Growth of Programmatically Traded Ads

ExchangeWire Research’s weekly roundup brings you up-to-date research findings from around the world, with additional insight provided by Rebecca Muir, head of research and analysis, ExchangeWire. In this week’s edition: Pre-roll versus mid-roll video ads; Growth of programmatically traded ads; FMCG & mobile ads.

Pre-roll vs mid-roll video ads

Mid-roll video ads increased by 24%, growing from 19% of all video ads in February 2015 to 33% in April 2016, according to research conducted by Ooyala. The emergence and growth of mid-roll video ads has detracted from pre-roll ads, which have been the long-time leader in video ad formats.

Pre-roll ads are still the most dominant format, dropping from their perch of 75% of all ads in March 2015 to 60% in April 2016. Pre-roll abandonment is now five times more likely than mid-roll abandonment because, with mid-roll ads, viewers are already invested in the content. What’s more, mid-roll video ads feel like traditional TV ads to audiences, and viewers are accustomed to seeing such ads and will habitually watch through to completion.

The average ad-completion rate for pre-roll is 78%, compared to 90% for mid-roll. What’s more, year-on-year impression growth was only 14% for pre-roll, while growth of mid-roll video ads stood at 110%.

The findings also look at the development of post-roll advertisements. These represent a minor portion of total ads for premium content providers. However, there was a bump in growth from 3.5% to 7% of all video ads. The issue is that post-roll ads show when viewers have completed their engagement with the content and are not incentivised to continue watching.

Growth of programmatically traded ads

Programmatically traded ads will account for 70% of all UK digital display ad spending this year, according to eMarketer. By 2017, programmatic will represent more than three-quarters of spending. The research also finds that the UK will remain a market leader in programmatic digital display ad spending. eMarketer predicts advertisers will spend £2.67bn on programmatic trading, up 44% from last year.

2016 will be the year during which programmatic direct spending will reach parity with real-time bidding (RTB), at £1.33bn. By 2018, programmatic direct will account for 52% of the programmatic total (£2.03bn).

The study suggests almost three-quarters (£1.99bn) of total programmatic display ad spending will go towards mobile inventory this year (2016). That proportion will reach a staggering 82% by 2018, when mobile will account for £3.20bn in spending.

Programmatic video will remain slightly behind the curve – just 51% of digital video inventory will be traded programmatically this year. The research suggests this is due to the lack of premium inventory currently available.

FMCG & mobile ads

FMCG goods dominated mobile impressions this quarter (Q2 2016), according to Celtra’s Q2 Mobile Ad Performance Report. Out of all requested Q2 2016 campaigns, FMCG impressions accounted for 18.3% of the available inventory. Retail came in at 12.7%, food and beverage at 11.1%, and automotive 10.3%.

Out of all requested impressions, smartphone devices were the clear leaders for impressions. They garner 86% of the total requested impressions, while tablet and desktop only hold a combined total of 14%. The report also finds that more than half (54%) of impressions are in-app, while 46% are through web browsers. In terms of ad engagement rates, interstitial leads the way with 3.9% engagement rate.

User attention is best held by reveal ads, which have an average exposure time of 44 seconds. Expandable banners hold attention for 36 seconds, while interstitial only holds user attention for seven seconds.

The reveal format saw a 12% longer exposure time than in Q1 and its engagement rate is 10% higher. For all formats, the overall exposure time is longer in-apps, while ad engagement rate is higher in web environments.

Interstitials on tablet saw the highest viewability rates, at 83%, while desktop formats saw the lowest viewability rates overall.