According to a new study by Freewheel, which just released their Video Monetization Report for Q4 and all of 2012, we’re not only being subjected to more ads than we did a year ago, but we’re also watching more of the ads.  Now, that might be because we’re being forced to watch the ads more, but the facts remain, we’re watching more ads and that’s a good thing, because content creators need the money and brands need the exposure.  Let’s take a look at some charts and graphs explaining these increases and where they are coming from.  Hat tip to our friends at VideoNuze.

Freewheel’s Video Monetization Report

Freewheel’s key findings include:

  • The amount of professional, rights-managed video online increased , with total video views seeing an uptick of 23% year-over-year.
  • Video ad volume went up 47%, with long-form content (defined as 20 minutes or more) seeing an average of 9.4 video ads per video view, an increase of 6.9 from the same quarter last year.  Pre-roll volume increased 45% and mid-roll increased 60%.
  • Despite the fact that people are watching more ads, they are watching them to the finish more as well.  A 93% completion rate for content over 20 minutes, 81% for mid-form (5-20 min), and 68% for short-form (5 min or less).
  • 15-second ads have begun to dwindle in favor of 30-second ads.  34% of ads are :15 while 42% are :30, and this flips the script from 2011.
  • Non-computer viewing has increased 2% to 12% of all viewing.
  • Apple has 60% of the mobile viewing market, Android has 31%.

Here’s an overview of total-ads-to-total-video-views:


And here’s where we’re getting our ads pushed on us. You’ll notice that post-roll obviously died a quick death, because that’s not happening under any circumstance.  But at pre-roll and mid-roll, where they have your attention, they’re seeing nice increases:


This graph shows the ad load for each form of content.  They’ve separated it into long-form (20 minutes), mid-form (5-20), and short (less than 5 minutes).  We’re being subjected to a ton more ads than we have before, especially with long-form content, where we’re seeing 9.4 ads per view:


But, not only that, we’re watching them to completion more, as this graph illustrates:


In all, we saw completion rates increase over long-form content from 88% to 93%, mid-form rose from 68% to 81%, and short-form increased from 54% to 68%.  I still think there is some “forced watching,” where you can’t skip the ad, especially in content that is 20 minutes or longer, which may skew these results.

This also might have brought about the increase in length for an ad as well, as you’ll see an inversely-proportional graph of this phenomenon from 2011 to 2012:


As you can see, the 15-second ad dropped quarter-by-quarter while the 30-second ad increased over the same period.

So we’re being subjected to more, watching more, and watching for a greater amount of time.  This is all good news for the content creators and advertisers, but this could be heading for some kind of breaking point.  I’ve always thought that one of the appeals (and paradoxes) of online video is the lack of ads, and increasing the amount, especially the non-skippable ones, starts making online video more and more like TV.   But it’s not like creating online video is free…money needs to come from somewhere.  And it’s not like we’re being subjected to a whole bunch of ads…you’re seeing less than 1 ad for every video you see under 5 minutes, and just over 1 for every one you see between 5 and 20.

We’d like to thank Freewheel for their informative data, charts, and graphs!