The 10 Second Rule for Video Advertisers

Posted by Sarah Hughes on May 25, 2016 1:55:57 PM

Topics: Video Monetization, Audience Insights

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There’s a whole lot of money going into digital video ads this year. According to eMarketer, $9.59 billion will be spent on digital video advertising in 2016 (and that’s just in the US). By 2019, this number is expected to grow to $14.77 billion. The growth in spending makes sense, considering that digital video is likely to account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. Wouldn’t it be great if those billions of dollars were going toward video ads that were actually being watched? Our recent report on consumer video ad preferences revealed a pretty simple solution: keep them under 10 seconds.

We surveyed over 1,100 consumers to learn more about audiences’ video consumption habits, and found out which types of ads they’re actually willing to watch. Some particularly interesting insights were uncovered surrounding a much debated question: How long are consumers willing to spend watching video ads before a short-form video? We’ve broken down consumers into four audience groups based on how long they’re willing to watch video ads. Looking at the audience demographics, habits, and preferences that each ad length caters to - you’ll see why our 10 Second Rule isn’t one you’ll want to break.

Want to learn which video ad formats are audience-approved? Download our full report!

CONSUMERS WILLING TO SPEND LESS THAN 10 SECONDS WATCHING AN AD: 
70% OF RESPONDENTS

Demographics:

  • The majority are between the ages of 30-44 (27%)
  • A majority of millennials are only willing to watch less than 10 seconds (65%)
  • The majority make between $50,000 to $74,999 annually (19%), with the second highest percentage falling into the $25,000 to $49,999 bracket (17%)

Frequency:

  • 70% of frequent online video viewers (at least 1 video/day)
  • 61% of regular online video viewers (a few videos/week)
  • 73% of sporadic online video viewers (only if it’s interesting)
  • 71% of rare online video viewers (only if it’s shared)
  • 79% of those who never watch online video will still only watch an ad for less than 10 seconds

Preferences:

  • Watch the most videos on Facebook (53%) and on their smartphone (43%)
  • Tolerate muted ads the most (50%), with targeted ads coming in second (37%)
  • Prefer video ads with no voice over, just text & pictures (80%)
  • Most annoyed by video ads that run in the middle of a video (33%), least annoyed by ads that run at the end (2%)
  • Most don’t use ad blockers (66%)
  • Most aren’t willing to pay a subscription fee to have an ad-free experience (86%)

CONSUMERS WILLING TO SPEND 10-30 SECONDS WATCHING AN AD:
23% OF RESPONDENTS

Demographics:

  • The majority are between the ages of 45-59 (28%)
  • Of our millennial (18-29) aged respondents, 26% are willing to spend 10-30 seconds
  • The majority make between $25,000 to $49,999 annually (17%), with the second highest percentage falling into the $50,000 to $74,999 bracket (15%)

Preferences:

  • Watch the most videos on Facebook (59%) and on their smartphone (42%)
  • Tolerate targeted ads the most (40%), with muted ads coming in second (38%)
  • Prefer video ads with no voice over, just text & pictures (70%)
  • Most annoyed by video ads that run in the middle of a video (37%), least annoyed by ads that run at the end (3%)
  • Most don’t use ad blockers (74%)
  • Most aren’t willing to pay a subscription fee to have an ad-free experience (82%)

CONSUMERS WILLING TO SPEND 30-60 SECONDS WATCHING AN AD: 
4% OF RESPONDENTS

Demographics:

  • The majority are between the ages of 45-59 (35%)
  • Of our millennial (18-29) aged respondents, 30-60 second ads fell into third place (5%)
  • The majority make between $25,000 to $49,999 annually (23%), with the second highest percentage falling into the $10,000 to $24,999 bracket (20%)

Preferences:

  • Watch the most videos on Facebook (52%) and on their smartphone (35%)
  • Tolerate targeted ads the most (55%), with muted ads coming in second (25%)
  • Video ads with no voice over are preferred just as much as ads with sound & voice over (50% / 50%)
  • Most annoyed by video ads that run in the middle of a video (30%), least annoyed by ads that run at the end (13%)
  • Most don’t use ad blockers (68%)
  • Most aren’t willing to pay a subscription fee to have an ad-free experience (80%)

CONSUMERS WILLING TO SPEND OVER A MINUTE WATCHING AN AD: 
3% OF RESPONDENTS

Demographics:

  • The majority are age 60+ (30%)
  • Millennials are the least likely to watch a full minute ad (3%)
  • The majority make between $0 to $9,999 annually (26%), with the second highest percentage falling into the $25,000 to $44,999 bracket (22%)

Frequency:

  • The majority watch online videos rarely (26%) and never (26%)
    • 2% of frequent online video viewers (at least 1 video/day)
    • 2% of regular online video viewers (a few videos/week)
    • 2% of sporadic online video viewers (only if it’s interesting)
    • 4% of rare online video viewers (only if it’s shared)
    • 8% of those who never watch online video will watch an ad for over a minute

Preferences:

  • The majority either watch the most videos on Facebook (44%) or don’t use any social media platforms to watch video (44%). They still watch the most videos on their smartphone (48%)
  • Tolerate targeted ads the most (41%), and muted ads the least (15%)
  • Prefer video ads with no voice over, just text & pictures (59%)
  • Most annoyed by video ads that run in the middle of a video (41%), then those that run at the end (34%). They’re actually the least annoyed by ads that run before (7%)
  • Most don’t use ad blockers (89%)
  • Most aren’t willing to pay a subscription fee to have an ad-free experience (85%)

So what should you take away from all this data? Well, the good news is that all four audiences agree on a few points: Video ads should be optimized for Facebook and mobile screens, and ad blockers or subscription fees are not really getting in the way of your ads being seen. As for the differences in demographics and preferences, we have more good news: ads that cater to our 10 second-and-under audience will be your smartest investment.

As long as the ads on your site are muted and targeted, optimized for social and mobile screens, and—need we say—less than 10 seconds, you will be able to reach and engage your most important audience demographics (hashtag millennials), and will have a better chance at keeping less frequent video viewers engaged. Take a look at these examples of great video ads repurposed (read: shortened) for mobile screens, and send them over to your favorite ad partner for their inspo board. Of course, you could just let advertisers continue to produce minute-long ads. They’ll just be catering to a more senior, less social audience who probably won’t be watching your videos in the first place.

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