April is Another Record-Breaking Month for Video Advertising: 9.5 Billion Online Video Ads Served

April is Another Record-Breaking Month for Video Advertising: 9.5 Billion Online Video Ads Served

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Holy mackerel! That’s a whole lotta online video ads man! In fact, it’s actually 20% of all videos viewed online roughly. That is if you remember that those ads are actually intersecting pieces of video content which then gets tallied as multiple videos by comScore. So really, it’s quite possible that there were really just 9.5 billion videos that were chopped up into four pieces by the 9.5 billion video ads. Yeah, my head hurts now too. It’s like trying to understand the motivations of Cthulhu.

Alright, elder gods aside, April was another big month for online video all around. It was 181 million people who watched almost 37 billion video segments on top of those 9.5 billion ads. Google once again remained at the top of the list and Yahoo! showed the staying power of its new video initiative by once again staving off VEVO for second. Microsoft jumped up to fifth place knocking Viacom, AOL and the others down a peg. Turner dropped off the top ten chart altogether as did NBCU replaced by newcomers Amazon and News Distribution Network Inc which offers a video wire service for news agencies.

Top U.S. Online Video Content Properties Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
April 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
PropertyTotal Unique Viewers (000)Videos (000)*Minutes per Viewer
Total Internet : Total Audience180,78536,848,0011,307.7
Google Sites157,66317,022,226434.8
Yahoo! Sites53,604741,99573.7
Microsoft Sites42,833486,56742.4
Viacom Digital41,247501,10058.9
AOL, Inc.38,925496,40054.3
Amazon Sites30,168104,58117.4
News Distribution Network, Inc.27,005186,95675.2

*A video is defined as any streamed segment of audiovisual content, including both progressive downloads and live streams. For long-form, segmented content, (e.g. television episodes with ad pods in the middle) each segment of the content is counted as a distinct video stream.

Video Advertising Gets a Billion View Bump

Wow, in march video ads totaled just under 8.4 billion and this month just under 9.5 billion. that’s a pretty big one month jump. Just CBS Interactive dropped off the list this month and was replaced by SpotXchange. Hulu lost almost 150 million video ad views on the month, 50 million of which showed up at Google, or at least, they grew theirs that much. Brightroll, Adap.tv, ESPN, Tremor, Specific all lost views. It’s OK though because TubeMogul put on the gloves and pulled in 300 million extra, Auditude got a bit of a bump and SpotXchange really crushed it, not making the March list and coming in sixth this month means they added some 250 million ad views at a minimum.

I just spoke with Tod Sacerdoti from Brightroll this week about some other stuff, including how they maintain their low frequency and massive reach. But that doesn’t affect my opinion one way or another on where to put your video ads.

It could be that because of the growth of long form content and the rise of the mid-roll, there are simply more opportunities for video ads. The average length of online video content has been steadily climbing of late but held steady at 6.4 minutes in April. Video Ads are still averaging 0.4 minutes, or 24 seconds which show there are probably slightly more 30-second spots than there are 15-second because the mean would be 22.5 seconds. Also, the amount of ads to videos is on the rise which I don’t like.

  • February 2012 – 16.6 percent of all videos viewed and 1.3 percent of all minutes
  • March 2012 – 18.5 percent of all videos viewed and 1.5 percent of all minutes
  • April 2012 – 20.5 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.

Compare that to TV ads and you’ll see it’s getting dangerously close to the same rate and that could have a detrimental affect on viewing eventually.

  • 2004 – 30 percent
  • 2006 – 30 percent
  • 2007 – 30 percent
  • 2008 – 32 percent
  • 2009 – 30 percent
  • 2010 – 32 percent
  • 2011 – 31 percent

Chris` Recommendations on Video Ad Placement

As always, I like to rank the ad networks my most favorable environment for advertisers. I do that by using the comScore numbers to find the highest reach, lowest frequency video ad network because, if I were advertising somewhere, it’s what I would want.

Both Brightroll and Specific Media lost some reach this month and that narrowed the gap between them. The prior has a higher reach while the latter has a lower frequency so it’s a close call this month and it’s three points in each category. Weird. I have to stick with Brightroll though because even though they lost some reach the show almost a billion video ads a month and maintain a sub-10 frequency, so they’re still the number one video ad network in my ranking with 33.8% reach, 9.1 frequency and the second-most total ad minutes. Very, very close behind them this month ins Specific Media who only have about 66% of the video ads shown but still have 30.9% reach and an astounding 6.9 frequency – well done!

Third place has traditionally been a tricky pick and this month is no different. Google has a good reach with 24.3% but so does Adap.tv with 22.5 (they were third last month). They edged out Google last month because of a much lower frequency, fourth lowest overall in fact. So Adap.tv once again wins third place. If Auditude could really boost its reach, it could make a run at third place in my ratings so long as it kept its third-lowest frequency as well.

Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
April 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
PropertyVideo Ads (000)Total Ad Minutes (MM)Frequency (Ads per Viewer)% Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience9,478,9753,93759.851.7
Google Sites1,319,34213617.724.3
BrightRoll Video Network**1942,8995669.133.8
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform**830,62123017.115.9
SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace**666,58836712.817.0
Tremor Video**661,72736013.216.3
Specific Media**2650,5783146.930.9
Auditude, Inc.**511,27820211.314.8

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange
Bold and numbered represent my personal ratings

YouTube Partner Channels

Not much to say about the YouTube Partner channel numbers really. Warner Bros. and Schmooru disappeared and were replaced by Demand Media and IGN. With E3 coming fast the video game channels are going to seriously heat up and I bet come the May/June numbers we’ll see IGN and a few others climb the charts.

Top YouTube Partner Channels* Ranked by Unique Video Viewers
April 2012
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Content Videos Only (Ad Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
PropertyTotal Unique Viewers (000)Videos (000)Minutes per Viewer
VEVO @ YouTube48,307644,11156.7
Warner Music @ Youtube28,632177,25125.0
Machinima @ YouTube23,146382,36065.0
Maker Studios Inc. @ YouTube15,353165,48543.9
FullScreen @ YouTube12,33158,99418.1
BroadbandTV @ YouTube8,21838,24517.2
Big Frame @ YouTube7,26641,64720.3
Demand Media @ YouTube6,32115,6228.1
Clevvertv @ YouTube6,07612,5417.6
IGN @ YouTube5,93330,66316.8

*YouTube Partner Reporting based on online video content viewing and does not include claimed user-generated content

Other notable findings from April 2012 include:

  • 84.5 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
  • The duration of the average online content video was 6.4 minutes, while the average online video ad was 0.4 minutes.
  • Video ads accounted for 20.5 percent of all videos viewed and 1.6 percent of all minutes spent viewing video online.


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