Video Ad Views Typically Only Around 10 Seconds

Although video advertisers are predominantly using spots 30 seconds in length or shorter, most consumers are barely making it through the first 10 seconds, according to data from EyeWonder. The firm unearthed these findings in a study conducted between January and July ’09, which includes data for the average ad time viewed by vertical, average completion rates by length, and average video lengths.

The consensus among the online video community appears to be to keep ads short and sweet — “15 seconds or less” is an oft-heard opinion. The data below suggests that concise is indeed the way to go, with nearly half of the verticals clocking in at less than 10 seconds for average time viewed.

The public service category bests the list at 16 seconds, perhaps because ads in this space tend to be longer, or because users watching them have a strong interest in the subject matter and are willing to stick it out longer than the average viewer. Meanwhile, major purchase decisions also seem to drive longer views; the automotive, business/finance, and travel verticals all averaged in the double digits.

Average Ad Time Viewed, By Vertical
Vertical Average Time Viewed (seconds)
Public service 16.0
Business/finance 13.2
Entertainment and news 12.7
Retail 12.2
Automotive 11.6
Travel 10.3
Consumer electronics 9.8
Technology/telecommunications 9.4
Consumer packaged goods 9.1
Pharmaceuticals 8.6
Lifestyles 8.3
Overall 10.9

Many advertisers appear to be aware of this 15 second sweet spot, with 40 percent crafting creative at 15 seconds or less, and only 23 percent exceeding 30 seconds.

Average Video Ad Lengths
Video ad Length (seconds) Portion of Videos (%)
1-5 9.1
6-15 30.2
16-30 37.5
31-45 7.3
46-60 3.2
60-plus 12.7

According to the numbers below, thirty percent of viewers didn’t make it more than 40 percent through an ad. However, the data also show that almost 50 percent of users viewed ads in their entirety. For advertisers, the intention is always to expose users to the entire message.

Video Ad Completion Rates
Portion of Video Ad Viewed (%) Portion of Viewers (%)
0-20 17.6
20-40 12.1
40-60 7.7
60-80 5.9
80-100 8.5
100 48.23

The EyeWonder video data are aggregate, meaning they are representative of the rich media provider’s brand-name clients, which span 11 verticals. The stats were pulled from the period of January to July and address instant-play, user-initiated, and in-stream video ad formats. According to Nielsen Online AdRelevance, EyeWonder delivered 64 percent of in-page video ad impressions in the U.S. during the first two quarters of this year.

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