Last week, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) released the industry’s first Mobile Video Benchmark Study. In order to deliver mobile video performance insights to brands and marketers, the MMA teamed up with six mobile publishers (Hulu, AdColony, Tremor Video, Brightcove, BrightRoll and Videology) who provided a month’s worth of mobile advertising data consisting of more than 550 million impressions.
After reading through the report, we determined five key pieces of information that deserve a closer look from mobile video marketers:
1. In-app ads dominate in terms of volume
The study found that 75% of mobile video ads were delivered in-app. This is one of the fastest growing sectors of the mobile advertising market and Juniper Research expects spending on in-app advertising to dramatically increase over the next few years—the company predicts that by 2018, spending will reach $17 billion, a significant shift from the $3.5 billion spent in 2013.
Because people spend 80% of their time on mobile devices in apps, marketers are justified in serving a majority of their ads through this channel. Not only are people spending more time in apps, but they are also engaging with in-app ads—MediaBrix found that in-app ads can yield 20% engagement and a 2,000% higher click-through rate.
As in-app video advertising becomes a priority for brands and marketers, we should see the emergence of related ad platforms. Just last week, ad company Vungle launched an in-app video ad exchange designed to connect brands with mobile app users.
Parks Associates expects in-app advertising revenue to exceed $5.6 billion by 2017 and as a result, brands have been quick to adopt in-app video advertising.
2. Strong ties exist between the entertainment industry and mobile video ads
In its study, the MMA found that 47% of ad impressions occurred in the Arts & Entertainment genre—the Association notes that this is reflective of consumer video activity in the mobile space. A large number of people are interacting with mobile content from the entertainment industry, and are therefore receiving a majority of mobile video ads.
For the industry, online video is also boosting engagement with mobile banner ads. AdTheorent, a mobile ad network that supports real-time bidding, says video accounted for 57% of all in-banner actions the entertainment industry saw on mobile devices during Q1 2014.
Social network interactions accounted for 23% of in-banner actions in the entertainment industry, while other activities, such as home page visits, calendar reminders or “more information” buttons, accounted for 20%.
The entertainment industry is driven by video (movies, TV shows), so it makes sense that online and mobile video would be its chosen marketing vehicles.
3. People are watching skippable ads
Skippable ads made up 32% of the total mobile video ad impressions in the MMA study, and as you would expect, skippable ads had a much lower completion rate than non-skippable mobile ads. Interestingly though, skippable click-through rates (CTRs) didn’t fall too far behind non-skippable CTRs. The implication: ads were more relevant for those who decided not to skip.
This is all well and good, but what about the people that do decide to skip mobile video ads. Turns out, they’re watching a good portion of the ad before they skip through. The MMA found that more than half of skippers stuck around for 25% of a clip and 30% remained through the video’s halfway mark.
Skippable mobile video ads are catching viewer attention, but fail to retain it throughout the ad. Brands and marketers can either focus on delivering the most important information in the first half of the ad or create content compelling enough to retain viewer attention throughout.
4. CTRs are higher for shorter ads
As displayed in the graph above, CTRs decreased by almost 100% for ads longer than 30 seconds compared to ads in the 16 to 30-second range. It’s understandable that short-form video ads with a clear and concise message see higher click-through rates. Mobile users are typically engaging in other activities and if brands take too long to explain their product/service or deliver a call-to-action, viewers may get bored and refrain from clicking through.
5. Excessive ad frequency negatively impacts CTRs
As with any form of advertising, excessive mobile video ad frequency negatively affects CTRs.
If brands want to deliver 15+ mobile video ads to the same user, there should be some variety when it comes to the ads themselves—consumers that see the exact same ad repeatedly may become desensitized to the brand and its message.
The MMA report, which can be downloaded here, sheds light on mobile video ad performance and offers valuable insights to brands and advertisers. Mobile usage and video viewing are both on the rise—brands that have yet to invest in mobile video advertising should begin to seek out a mobile video marketing solution to augment existing promotional efforts.