• AdoTube Data Suggests Video Ads Benefit From Viewer Control

    AdoTube, an online video ad manager and network is releasing data on the performance of its "Polite Pre-Roll" and interactive ad formats this morning, which provide more insight about viewers' behaviors and preferences. AdoTube's Chief Strategy and Operations Officer Steven Jones walked me through the results yesterday.

    AdoTube began offering the Polite Pre-Roll format last year to clients and has done A-B testing on it vs. standard pre-roll ads on 30 million servings. With the Polite Pre-Roll, viewers are able to click to close the ad, and then a reminder overlay appears at the bottom of the screen, which also can be closed out. In addition the Polite Pre-Roll has far deeper engagement opportunities than standard pre-rolls.

    The testing has revealed that the Polite Pre-Roll has a 3.76% click-through rate, vs. 1.61% for the standard pre-roll. As shown below, the CTRs have increased over the last 4 quarters since they were introduced, suggesting familiarity improves performance. In addition, while the view-thru rate for 25% of the ad was lower for the Polite Pre-Roll vs. standard pre-rolls (46.3% vs. 54.5%), it was slightly better for viewing 100% of the ad (37.1% vs. 36%) suggesting that even with the option to close out the ad, once past a certain point, they stay with it in similar proportions.

    Aside from advertising performance, the content appears to benefit as well. AdoTube found that the abandonment rate for the content was 36% lower after a Polite Pre-Roll was used. Steve concludes from this that by giving viewers more control over their advertising experience, they have a more satisfying overall viewing experience. It's an important issue; with 40% of U.S. homes now having a DVR, the expectation to skip ads is becoming more commonplace. The fact that generally they can't be in online video is therefore a negative to viewers (though a positive to advertisers). Finding a balance like with the Polite Pre-Roll which is skippable, but then offers up a reminder unit could be the right approach.

    Separately, AdoTube also found that its "interactive ad formats" which are overlays with enhanced engagement (e.g. submit zip code for coupon, etc.) not surprisingly outperformed standard brand overlay units, driving 83% better click-throughs. The full report is here and a gallery of the various ad formats referenced above is here.

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