Everyone knows it, so it must be true: Everyone hates pre-roll video ads — the mini-ads that publishers want you to sit through before you actually watch a clip. We bail out on them constantly, and everyone we know does the same.
But video ad network Tremor Media says we and everyone we know are in a small minority. It says only 20% of Web video watchers give up and leave when confronted with the pre-rolls it serves up. Or, as Tremor is putting it in a release later today, 80% watch the ads all the way through.
Tremor says its audience sticks around because it doesn’t serve up crappy use-gen video, and that “audiences are willilng to accept pre-roll advertising in exchange for content they want, on demand.” And Tremor also says that its stuff is so good (it measured 65 million ad impressions across 100 different ad campaigns) that the bail-out rate didn’t change if the ads were 15 or 30 seconds long.
Not to be outdone, Break Media is claiming an even higher “completion rate” — 87% — for its pre-rolls, which includes a whole lot of user-generated video. Break’s sample was a lot smaller than Tremor’s — 5.85 million impresssions. But we’re equally sceptical of both numbers. We’re certainly not anti-advertising, and we will indeed sit through some pre-rolls, when we know were getting good stuff we want to see. But there’s no way we do that 8 out of 10 times.
But regardless of what the number really is, pre-rolls aren’t going away any time soon. Indeed, another video ad network, Brightroll, said last week it had just booked a $1 million pre-roll campaign, and that pre-rolls account for 50% of their business.
What explains their popularity? In part, it’s because advertisers geniunely think they’re the most effective format available. And in part, it’s because pre-rolls look and feel just like the TV ads publishers and advertisers are already comfortable with. Who’s going to come up with a better solution? There’s a big pot of money waiting…
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