TubeMogul Finds That Most Viewers Never See Pre-Roll Video Ads
The above headline from Reel SEO, and the research it introduces from Tube Mogul, is of almost no value to anybody as far as I can see. It seems to be judging a sites video performance based on the homepage alone, and as I will explain below this is rarely the page where most of the video views occur.
I spent three years working with online video on one of the biggest UK newspaper websites, and we realised fairly soon after launching video that placing it on the homepage is not the answer to generating significant video views. As a result, video rarely featured on the homepage thereafter, and so the percentage of viewers watching video on that one page will of course be low. Apart from that, the percentage is of little interest to any advertiser because they would be buying video advertising on a cost per thousand video plays basis, not on the number of unique users that visited any given page.
The homepage is often a more fleeting stepping-stone to multiple article pages. It contains the top news of the day in brief, with links to the in-depth stories elsewhere. So the user lands on the homepage, decides which stories they wish to read, and then clicks to an article page containing that story. From experience, I know that video will get many more plays if it is relevant, and embedded into an article than it ever will on the homepage. It is also worth noting that a fairly small percentage of the newspaper sites overall traffic comes to the site via the homepage, and that Google often takes users directly to the article the user is interested in.
The newspaper site I worked on achieved many millions of video views with this ‘article page’ strategy, and very few of them relied on a home page position, so I would suggest that knowing the percentage of homepage visitors that watched video is of little or no use to advertisers and their agents.
The Take Away on Reel SEO reads:
“… So you blow loads of cash on video creative and trying to get your pre-roll ads into the pre-roll mix on the site that has the full-length episodes whether it be a broadcaster or whatever. You put all your money into that campaign and get a really low ROI and can’t figure out what happened. It’s simple. Not as many people saw those videos as you were hoping even though you pushed out perhaps millions of impressions.”
The line that reads ‘…not as many people saw those videos as you were hoping’ demonstrates to me that the author doesn’t understand how pre-roll advertising is traded.
A buyer will buy a number of video plays, and pay a cost per thousand plays to achieve that goal. They will then often third-party track their campaign to ensure that the booked number of impressions is delivered.
No buyer that I have encountered in the many years I have been working in online video advertising has ever paid based on the number of unique users on the site/ homepage, and so this statement appears to be wholly incorrect.
I’d love to hear your views, using the comments on this blog!