More Videos Ads, More User Acceptance

There are not only more online video ads being shown, but users are showing grudging acceptance of such interruptions.

ComScore said the number of online video viewers in October was 175 million, up 5 percent. More importantly, the amount of video viewed rose sharply. The average online video viewing time rose to 15.1 hours, up 40 percent. Video ads reached 45 percent of the U.S. population last month, with an average of 34 exposures.

Separately, video monetization service FreeWheel released stats showing the still-new market for online video ads maturing. Consumer engagement with pre-roll ads, the dominant format used, has shown steady increases this year. In the first quarter, 45 percent of pre-roll ads were watched until completion. By the third quarter, that figure rose to 54 percent. Pre-roll makes up 91 percent of in-stream video ads, according to FreeWheel.

FreeWheel based its findings on 9 billion video ad views through the first nine months of the year.

Its report concludes that the Web video ad market is starting to resemble TV — at least for content that’s professionally produced.

“Much early reporting on the issue focused on short clips of user-generated content and showed extremely low completion rates for pre-roll ads,” the report states. “Clearly behavior is different with professional content, especially long form.”

Hulu is distancing itself as the No. 1 source for online ad video. It served over 1 billion ad impressions in October, 23 percent of all served during the time period. Video ad networks Tremor Media, and BrightRoll occupied the next three slots, followed by CBS Interactive.

Thanks to its reliance on YouTube, Google isn’t yet a dominant player in online video ads. ComScore tracked Google serving 170 million in October, a 4 percent market share. YouTube makes Google the No. 1 source of overall videos viewed, however, with 2 billion video sessions and 271 minutes viewed per viewer.