Advanced Television

Research: Number of ads per ad break down 40%

September 19, 2023

FreeWheel, a technology platform for the TV advertising industry, has announced findings from its The Delicate Art of Balancing Ad Load report. Now in its second year, this edition explores premium video ad load for the first half of 2022 in Europe. Key findings include:

  • Media companies are redefining ad loads:

    • Since 2016, the number of ads included within an ad break has decreased, dipping from an average of approximately five to three.

    • The ad break duration has also decreased slightly, in particular for mid-form. Meanwhile, this measure typically spanned 52–90 seconds for long-form content; 42–83 seconds for mid-form content; and 18–27 seconds for short-form content.

    • Mid-roll breaks on smart televisions have the longest duration – at 126 seconds – and the greatest number of ads with an average of between five to six ads per break.

    • Pre-roll breaks on mobile devices run for the shortest duration at 30 seconds and consist of one or two ads per break on average.

  • Premium long-form VoD accounts for the majority of ad views:

    • European audiences view ads on a selection of screens and devices such as set-top-box VoD (30 per cent), mobile (29 per cent), CTV (26 per cent), and desktop (15 per cent).

    • Nearly eight in 10 ad views occur on premium VoD, with 68 per cent of VoD ad views taking place within long-form content.

    • The report also found a significant uptick in ad views on live TV (20 per cent), up from 10 per cent in 2020.

  • Premium video environments deliver impact:

    • Long- and mid-form content achieved an impressive ad completion rate of 94 per cent, while short-form content achieved a rate of 80 per cent. (For comparison, a 70 per cent completion rate is considered ‘good’ for online video advertising.)

    • Additionally, fewer than one-quarter of viewing interruptions happen during the ad, meaning drop-offs mainly take place in the content instead.

To enable broadcasters and premium video providers to better understand the effects of ad loads on the viewing experience, FreeWheel unveiled The Viewer Experience Lab in the US in collaboration with MediaScience, a provider of lab-based audience research. This industry initiative aims to help the TV advertising industry improve the ad environment for viewers across all video platforms. Addressing and improving current industry and viewer issues with ad load is one component.

“As the television ad landscape continues to evolve and viewership habits shift, we need to prioritise and pay even more attention to protecting and ensuring a quality viewer experience, and ad load is a critical component of that,” said Mark McKee, General Manager, FreeWheel. “As you can see from these report findings, consumers really value and appreciate a quality, premium ad environment, and we need to keep this in mind as we continue to innovate and drive the industry forward.”

Categories: Advertising, Articles, Markets, Research

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