Pre-roll ads are the least disruptive form of sponsored digital content and are more likely to be viewed as informative and engaging compared to other ad formats, according to a new study published by IPG Media and YuMe.
More than 6,800 participants viewed video content relevant to their interests across a range of devices, including smartphones. They then rated their ad experience with pre-roll, mid-roll and out-stream ads all in the mix. The study found that pre-roll was significantly less interruptive and generally resulted in a more pleasant end user viewing experience.
In total, just 17 per cent of the users said that pre-roll ads interrupted the content that they consumed on desktop PCs and laptops, which compares very favourably with the 53 per cent that said so for mid-roll ads and the 46 per cent for out-stream. Each of the ads used during the study had a run time of 15 seconds.
Pre-roll ads served up the same experience on smartphones, perhaps surprisingly, considering that a sizeable 72 per cent of respondents said that mid-roll ads were disruptive, and 60 per cent claimed the same about out-stream content. In addition, users also rated pre-roll as more likely to inform, educate and engage compared to other formats.
Serving up content that is relevant and adds value for consumers is a number-one priority for brands in the current marketing climate, so choosing the best ad format is crucial. NewsCred CEO and co-founder Shafqat Islam said: “Meaningful content is when you’re what people are interested in rather than something that interrupts what they’re interested in.”
The study suggests that certain ad formats work better with certain content types. For example, while mid-roll was deemed generally disruptive, it was successful at communicating brand messages on larger screens, as TV viewers are more accustomed to watching ads during shows. These ads also had higher completion rates.
Meanwhile, out-stream ads can work well when placed in contextually relevant written articles. For example, a video ad for a restaurant could drive engagement in a blog piece about food. A separate report by IPG Media and Magna Global found that the overall completion rate for digital ads currently stands at 35 per cent.