PointRoll delivers interactive video, rich media, social and mobile advertising. Their report on 2010 Rich Media Benchmarks is mostly about display ads. However, there is some small portion of it about video which I found interesting. For example, Pharma video ads (for whatever reason) reach completion almost 64% of the time. They reach the halfway point some 74.5% of the time. That makes me wonder if those ads are being run with autoplay and if so, how far down the page they’re placed.

The next highest vertical for completion rates is Retail who saw their video ads finished 40.4% of the time and reach the halfway point 51.1% of the time. Those are pretty good numbers as well. It’s unclear what percentage of their 155 billion impressions in 2010 were actual video ads since they did not state that in the research. These are all videos that play in display ad banners and can be expanded, float on the page or offer a ‘polite’ approach (meaning they stay within the confines of the ad placement?). Here’s their definition of a polite ad:

A polite unit is a universal rich media ad.  All features and functionality are contained within the borders of the ad unit but the advertiser is afforded with unlimited k-weight as opposed to the standard limits.  When a user rolls the mouse over a polite unit, the ad can reveal dynamic messaging panels that expose the user to brands, products, services, and also can collect valuable data

The pre-expandable are those ads that expand to take over the main part of a website and you have to mouse over or click to close and I find them rather intrusive and annoying personally.Their definition of that type of ad:

Pre-expandable ad units do not require user interaction to expand, allowing advertisers to deliver a quick, high-impact message to users within the existing page-based media. Upon initial page load, a  pre-expandable ad opens, exposing the user to a larger message space before closing back to a standard unit size after a few seconds. The user can then mouse-over the ad to view the larger message again and interact at will.

Yep, those are the ones that will make me click away from a site in a flash. I hate having a massive ad push itself in front of my content, they’re almost as annoying as interstitial which also make me leave a site or rapidly click past it before it finishes loading.

The fact that videos in those ads finish 50% of the time makes me truly believe that they are being autoplayed and/or continue to play even when the ad is collapsed.

News sites topped all others for both 50 and 100% completion rate hitting 72.8 and 66.2% while Gaming sites (woo!) cleared second place for full completion rate, 56.7% but dropped to fifth in the halfway completion category with 47.3%

Now how does that work I wonder? Doesn’t a video have to hit 50% before it hits 100% completion? The only other category of website to have a lower 50% than 100% is portals and search engines. When looking at verticals only Food & Beverage and Telecom managed that same feat.

Of the three ad sizes (leaderboard, large rectangle and skyscraper), the 300×250 large rectangle offered the best completion rates with 50/100% hitting 51.11% and 42.42%. Skycrapers came next with 48% and 40.83% while leaderboards were worst (usually those pre-expandable ones I’m betting) with 32.24% and 26.83%.

PointRoll gleaned these insights from their 155 billion impressions for 2010. But I don’t know what percentage of those were actually video ads. It seems that the whole of their inventory is for display placement and just allows for video to be included in the banners. They do not offer, nor track pre/mid/post-roll video according to this report. The three banner sizes tracked were 728×90, 160×600 and 300×250. For the full report head to the 2010 Rich Media Benchmarks page.