The practice of incentivizing consumers to watch online ads has plenty of detractors, and Jun Group, an opt-in video platform, has certainly heard the dissent before. In an attempt to quell such concerns, the company today is announcing new pricing where brands only pay for views if the consumer watches the entire video for clips 30 seconds or fewer. Yep, the first 29 seconds, in some cases, are free.
A bevy of big brands have utilized Jun Group, including Nike, Jim Beam, Subway, Chips Ahoy and Mercedes-Benz. Consumers are rewarded with virtual goods and virtual currency for watching videos in social games, as well as on Facebook, YouTube and other sites. They then can choose actions such as social sharing of the video, visiting the brand site, downloading coupons, recipes or other rewards from the brand, or replay the video.
“We’ve tested [the new pricing model] for a few clients,” Mitchell Reichgut, CEO at the New York-based firm, told Adweek. “It’s gotten really positive feedback.”
Reichgut said he understands the negative gut reaction from some marketers in terms of incentivized views, though he argued the experience isn’t far off from pre-roll ads where consumers watch promos simply to get to content. He said 3.5 percent of the people who watch videos via Jun Group go on to take an action.
“It’s a click-through to a website, it’s downloading a coupon, etc.,” Reichgut explained. “After receiving those rewards, we see unbelievable activity across campaigns.”
Yeah, but why would Jun Group want to essentially money-back-guarantee partial views if the data is already stellar? The CEO said 95 percent of videos 30 seconds or less were viewed to completion before the pricing change. His contention: why not absorb the other 5 percent and strengthen the offer?
“So if people are skeptical of this,” he said, “my overall pitch is that the results bear out.”
Incentivizing video views doesn't appear to be going anywhere. For instance, last week, AOL—via its budding syndication arm, AOL On—began distributing content to Swagbucks, a rewards site where users earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards and coupons ($1 off Tombstone Pizza, $15 off at the Gap). To collect points, users watch videos, participate in polls and play games. Some of those clips come from AOL brands like Moviefone, PopEater, AOL Music and AOL Healthy Living.