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First mobile video ads benchmarks a significant step for future growth

In its first-ever benchmark report for mobile video ads, the Mobile Marketing Association found that while mobile video completion rates were flat across ad length, click-through rates dropped for ads longer than 30 seconds.

Key takeaways include that engagement for skippable video advertising is robust despite the options for viewers to bypass ads. Additionally, the MMA found that late at night offers a high-engagement window across a small group of consumers.

?The MMA Mobile Video Benchmarking Study is the first time we have data - over 500 million impressions - compiled from multiple publishers and ad networks evaluated by a verified third party,? said Molly Moriarty, vice president of marketing at AdColony, Los Angeles, one of the companies involved in the report.

?Until now, much of this mobile video performance and trends data has been either held close to the chest or only available on a per-publisher basis,? she said. ?Bringing together thought leaders in mobile video to share data is a huge step towards educating the market and sourcing out major consumer trends," she said.

?The study is a step in the right direction to provide points of comparison for performance on the fastest growing ad format in all of mobile. It should give brands the insights and confidence to invest in in-app mobile video."

Skippable vs. non-skippable
The report is based on one month's worth of mobile data advertising from six mobile publishers: AdColony, BrightRoll, Brightcove, Tremor Video, Hulu and Videology.

The report focuses on completion rates, click rates and non-skippable versus skippable ads. These performance measurements were evaluated in terms of ad length, format and site genre, time of day, in-app versus mobile Web, iOS versus Android and phone versus tablet.

Click-through rates for mobile video ads were 2.3 percent for non-skippable linear video, 1.5 percent for skippable linear, 2.21 percent for non-skippable interstitial, 1.41 percent for skippable interstitial and 2.66 percent for value exchange video.

Not surprising, the report found that completion rates are dramatically lower for skippable ads compared to non-skippable. For example, the linear video non-skippable completion rate is 93 percent compared to 8 percent for skippable.

However, the gap is much smaller when it comes to click-through rates. The click-through rate for non-skippable linear video is 2.4 percent and for skippable, 1.5 percent. The implication is that ads were more relevant for those who decided not to skip.

Parallel viewing
Another finding was that, similar to other forms of advertising, mobile video ad performance declines with excessive ad frequency.

The report also found that mobile video ads are dominated by in-app ads, with 46 percent of impressions happening in-app on phones and 30 percent in-app on tablets.

By operating system, iOS accounted for 82 percent of ad volume compared to 18 percent for Android.

Non-skippable ads comprised 68 percent of impressions compared to 32 percent for skippable.

In terms of format, linear video ads accounted for 65 percent of impressions, interstitial 17 percent and value exchange 15 percent.

By length of ad, 56 percent of ads were 15 seconds or less, 33 percent were between 16 and 30 seconds and 8 percent were longer than 31 seconds.

When it comes to where the most mobile video activity is happening arts & entertainment accounted for 47 percent of impressions, games for 24 percent, hobbies for 14 percent and sports for 7 percent.

?The study showed how parallel mobile view ad viewing and primetime TV viewing truly are,? Ms. Moriarty said. ?Those high-attention media consumption hours have been the holy grail for brand marketers, and the fact that consumers have a voracious appetite for mobile content during primetime evening hours is a really powerful data point.

?Mobile video ad views spiking from 8:00pm-11:00pm, mostly in-app, is a huge takeaway,? she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York