Duration of Mobile Video Impacts CTR and Completion Rate Differently

Duration of Mobile Video Impacts CTR and Completion Rate Differently

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The Mobile Marketing Association recently released the Mobile Video Benchmarking Study which took a look at a variety of factor for mobile video ads both skippable and non-skippable formatted as linear video, interstitial or value exchange (giving something to the user for watching the video). Today we look at the impact ad duration has on completion rate and CTR for both skippable and non-skippable mobile video ads.

Yesterday we looked at overall completion rates and CTR for mobile video ads across the same categories. Today we are specifically going to focus on the effect ad duration has on those same metrics.

Video Ad Duration Impact on Completion Rate

In a nutshell, almost none for non-skippable mobile video ads. Usually the user is sort of trapped where they are in the middle of a game or other content and the only way to proceed is to sit through the mobile video ad. As for skippable mobile video ads, something counter-intuitive happens. The longer the ad, the higher the completion rate. In fact, the completion rate of mobile video ads longer than 30 seconds is over 150%, and 30-second ads are 133%, that of the 15-second variety

MMA Mobile video ad completion rate by duration

That just strikes me as odd. I would imagine that there would be a higher completion rate of shorter ads as the users seem generally impatient when their gaming or content experience is interrupted. Perhaps that shows a correlation between length and content value of the mobile video ad. Perhaps the users think there may be something worthwhile in a 40-second ad but don’t see anything of value coming from a 15-second mobile video ad. A study could be done just on that sort of perception I think.

Video Ad Duration Impact on CTR

In terms of the click-through rate, ad duration does have a more noticeable impact. While they rose slightly from 15-second to 30-second mobile video ads, they dropped off quickly in the 30+ second category. That trend holds true for both skippable and non-skippable.

MMA mobile video ad CTR by duration

In this case, there is almost zero click through on the longer mobile video ads with less than a percent for the skippable variety. The change between 15 and 30-second ads is not all that large, but grew slightly more for skippable ads than non-skippable showing perhaps that the content of those ads may be been slightly more interesting than the non-skippable.

This may, again, boil down to user perception of value in the mobile video ad content. Ultimately it seems that users were more likely to watch a 30+ second ad but not at all interested in more information or the ad product/brand which required interaction with it. We do have some feedback on where the ads were seen though which might give a clue as to what is going on.

mma research mobile video ad breakdown

Over three-quarters of the ads were seen in-app while mobile web accounted for just 9%. Those apps were probably mostly on iOS by the looks of it.

So users were less interested in clicking but more interested in viewing the ads in iOS apps, hypothetically. That could mean they simply did not want to click the ad which would generally open another app, like Safari, to give them more information. It could also mean that they are more likely to ride out an ad even if it is skippable, perhaps using the time for something else not on the mobile device.

Hopefully, this report will spawn some further research that will give us some further information as to how users perceive the mobile video ads in apps.


The MMA, not being a research group, pulled together a wide array of partners to put this report today. Not only did they get ad data from the six MMA members mentioned earlier, they also used ImServices for data aggregation and normalization and analysis from Gerard Broussard from Pre-Meditated Media. They covered 559 million mobile ad impressions, the majority of which were in-app (75%), with 53% being on mobile and 32% on tablet (14% was unknown). iOS was more than 80% of all ads and Android was 18%. Non-skippable ads were the majority at 68%.

Most of the ads were linear video (65%), 17% were interstitial, 15% were value exchange (3% unknown). Over half (56%) were 15 seconds or less, one third were 16-30 seconds and just 8% were longer. The data was pulled from March 2013.

The report can be downloaded from the MMA site (registration required).


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