Consumers don’t want to watch television commercials on their mobile devices. At least, not ones they’ve already seen.
This is one of the findings of a new study by Celtra that sheds light on how mobile users currently consume video ads and how the mobile video-ad experience could manifest in the future. Mobile Internet and video are two of the fastest-growing digital properties, so it’s increasingly important to understand what kind of user experience consumers expect from mobile video.
The study researched how long users watched video content included in more than 150 ads running on Celtra AdCreator during the final quarter of 2012, and found that television commercials repurposed for mobile ads are not popular among mobile users.
When broken down by ad type, 43.5 percent of users watched a video commercial all the way until the end, while 47.7 percent watched movie trailers to completion. While video presentations had the least amount of completed watches at 42.7 percent, more participants continued watching through the third quarter of the video (44.8 percent) than those who watched through the third quarter of commercials.
These numbers reinforce the idea that video content needs to be just as fresh and original as all other forms of digital content when it comes to mobile Internet. Otherwise, users won’t stick around to see the content. Speaking of sticking around, the study also breaks down how long users watched videos of different lengths, and the numbers are a bit more surprising here.
Despite the growing assertion that the attention span is shrinking in the mobile age — suggested in mobile video by the success of the 6-second videos of Twitter’s Vine — the shortest videos in the study were actually the least-watched videos. Only 35.8 percent of users finished watching videos that were 30 seconds or less, and more than half stopped watching during the second quarter of the video.
This is compared to videos lasting 31-60 seconds, where 51.3 percent of users completed the videos, and 68.6 percent were still watching through the second quarter of the video. In fact, all videos (additional categories are 61-150 seconds and 150 seconds and longer) were watched to completion more often than the shortest videos.
However, this information ties into other findings that ads 30 seconds or shorter are typically reused television ads, which might account for the small amount of completions for short videos. It is highly possible that original videos under 30 seconds would perform much better.
Regardless, the main takeaway here is the need for original content to provide a satisfactory user experience. Everyone knows the “content is king” mantra at this point, but it should be modified to specify that “original content” is crucial — and mobile marketers shouldn’t forget that includes video, as well.
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