Rhythm New Media have put out their Q1 2011 Mobile Video Ad Report and there are some very large numbers in it that show mobile video advertising is on the up and up and is definitely poised to continue that growth trend. Of course, those of us sitting on the toilet using our smartphones already knew that, now didn't we? That link tells us that 82% of smartphone users notice ads, so it explains the large jump in the number of brands using mobile video ads.
As always we must take in the two things that gnaw at me when I read research:
- Where did it come from: Rhythm NewMedia - executes mobile campaigns exclusively across top apps and mobile websites (so they'll almost always put positive spin on things in my eyes).
- How they did it: Data points are based on ads served across iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and other devices in the US market. In Q1, Rhythm served over 728 million average monthly content views in the US, up 36% Q/Q. The data points cover ad campaigns from over 70 Fortune 500 brands in Q1 2011.
Now that that's out of the way we can take a look at what they had to say. I do like Rhythm (don't confuse my skepticism with dislike, as others have done recently) and I respect them because in their reports they always state:
The metrics provided herein are solely representative of the Rhythm mobile advertising
network and may not reflect the overall ecosystem for similar ads.
Who's Viewing Which Mobile Video Ads?
While only 40% of the Rhythm audience is watching video, 50% play games (in-game video ads are hot right now) and 80% are viewing articles or photos. Which could easily have video ads inserted into the pages.
Rhythm tracks three types of mobile video ads and the pie chart is heavily in favor of tap to interactive video which pulled in 60% of all video ad impressions for the quarter, 25% were interactive pre-roll and 15% were interactive in-stream.
That's a pretty interesting statistic because it shows that 60% of the video ad impressions were activated by the viewers as the tap to interactive video are display ads that, when tapped, lead to a video and are often embedded in applications.
You might even argue that another 25% of those mobile video ads are also user-initiated because they are the interactive pre-roll variety that appear at the launch of an application, at the beginning of or in between game levels. It means the viewers know the videos are there or at least know they are after the first time they encounter them and continue to play or use the application in question.
The lowest percentage, 15%, of the ads are the interactive in-stream which show during video streams and so the viewers might not necessarily know they are coming. That all ads up to some pretty fascinating insight into the mobile video ad viewer because the majority of impressions are user activated.
Of course, the tap to ads have the lowest completion rate at 21% while pre-roll have 27% and in-stream have a whopping 87% completion rate. The CTRs are inversely proportional to the completion rates oddly with tap to showing 7.2% CTR, in-stream showing only 1.3% CTR and pre-roll netting 4.5% CTR.
It seems that we as mobile consumers are not likely to tap an ad that will pull us away from our video content, yet we are almost three times more likely to click a pre-roll video coupled with an app or game and six times more likely to tap an ad for more information.
How to Make the Most from Your Mobile Video Ads
Rhythm suggests in their report that it is best to mix up your campaigns among all three types. I can sort of agree with them. Put your longer, more in-depth information in those in-stream ads while putting the quick and dirty info in the tap to ads because you know many viewers are not likely to watch those to completion.
They also said not to target too tightly. Campaigns targeted to a single site were far lower in clickthrough than those with network-wide runs which makes sense I guess. The CTRs were 1.1% vs. 1.4% (a 22% boost) in regards to in-stream.
Completion rates for pre-roll made did better in between game screens or levels as opposed to right at start up. Also makes sense to me, hook them in, get them invested and they'll most likely sit through the ad far longer. The completion rates there were 36% vs. 23% (at launch).
Finally, they reported that Entertainment Mobile and Telecom and CPG made up the majority of all campaigns in the quarter. That means there's a lot of competition in those areas for space. Consumer Electronics, Govt and Education, Retailers and Finance and Insurance were the least percentages all at round 2-4%.
Seems like right now is a good time to get into some mobile video advertising. I've never used Rhythm or really checked out their service but they do show a lot of video ads per quarter and are forthcoming in their reports which I like. They might be worth checking out if you think you've got a use for mobile video ads.