Pre-roll Ads Most Tolerable Video Ad Format [Report]

Pre-roll Ads Most Tolerable Video Ad Format [Report]

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I use tolerable because, well, when approval rates are in the 20% range, that’s really what it is, in a nutshell. It means one in five survey respondents think pre-rolls are acceptable. But it could mean that one in five respondents think pre-roll ads are simply less intrusive than the other ad formats in the survey. What are those other ad formats? Well, you just have to continue reading for that.

Yahoo! surveyed just 1,775 consumers in the 16-44 age range who are regular online video viewers, several time a week at the least. Some of the results seem counter-intuitive to what many other reports have found. I guess it depends on who you survey, what platform you survey form and when you survey.

Pay to Play? No Way Jose!

As my rhyming subtitle alludes to, paying for video seems to be not all that popular with the Yahoo! survey respondents. Just 35% said they would make micro payments for video while just 25% would pay monthly subscription fees for video. But the question is, are they talking about things like news video clips you find on Yahoo!? I mean, presumably, the audience they surveyed was theirs and not say, Netflix users.

Now, 35% of the U.S. online video viewing population is about 66 million people so that’s not all that bad. 25% is 47.25 million and that would be a fairly large SVOD subscriber base.

You Talkin’ to Me?

The research also showed that the video viewers are pretty ad savvy. Over half (57%) expect online advertising to be “more interactive.” More interactive than what immediately sprang to my mind. Than TV or print? Surely. Than other forms of digital advertising? Well, who knows, because I can’t find the exact wording of the question.

Nearly half of the respondents expect online advertising to be relevant to them and 55% expect to have some choice in the ads that are shown to them. So overall, about half of the respondents are ad savvy where they have some passing familiarity with interactivity, engagement, ad relevance and targeting and ad choice, presumably in pre-roll ads.

What Ads are Most Appealing, Least Disruptive?

This question seems a bit leading to me. Were they asking about appealing or disruptive or a combination of both? Take a look at this slide from a Yahoo! presentation of the results (the typo is theirs I assure you). It’s entirely possible that the “How acceptabile are each of these ads ?” was the exact question I suppose.

yahoo video ad format acceptance

Here’s that part where I said tolerable because just 22% said that pre-rolls are more acceptable, apparently in regards to the others. Second was interactive ads which had an 18% approval rating, even though in the same slide show 57% said they expect the ads to be more interactive. Sponsorships also got 18% of the vote. Tied at 15% were banner and wrapped banners and mid-rolls were least acceptable in the reported results.


So for video player ads there’s a 10% difference in acceptance of mid-roll and pre-roll. I hate pre-rolls personally, especially when the ad is paired with a piece of content that is less than 200% of the ad length. On the other hand, Carla Marshall thinks they’re great because, as she told me earlier, “at least you can take a sip of coffee or stare out of the window while they are playing – I hate being interrupted mid-stream.” So right here at ReelSEO you’ve got two very different opinions on those specific ad formats.

Finally, in terms of relevant targeting, 42% said they would be happy to share shopping information to get more relevant ads, another 42% said they might consider it and 16% said No Way Jose.

Do you think these numbers stack up against what you’re seeing in your online video ad campaigns? Are people slightly more inclined to accept pre-roll ads versus mid-rolls? What about people paying via micro-payments or subscriptions for content? I suppose that might depend on the quality of the content, no?


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