FreeWheel Broadcasts the Power of Mid-Roll

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>ADOTAS – As my roommate and I caught the last few episodes of “The Event” (guilty pleasure, but it got a lot better toward the end; still haven’t seen the finale, so SHHHH!) on Hulu, we remembered the days when the online video service served only one video ad during each commercial break. Now it’s… Two. So that’s not really all that bad, but it’s an omen — we realized that soon enough online TV programs will feature as many commercials as regular TV.

Last week, Fox furthered this hypothesis by announcing that the online versions of its TV shows would feature just as many commercials as the broadcast versions. And dammit, I have to see what happens on “House” — you never know what kind of crazy procedure that lunatic doctor is going to order next….

With increasing amounts of long-form content available online, expect more “mid-roll” ads. In analyzing data from 5.5 billion ads served during online videos from premium content makers like Turner, ESPN and (of course) Fox, FreeWheel noted a 30% increase in mid-roll video ads, most-often placed in long-form content, between 1Q 2011 and 4Q 2010. The company attributed this hike to higher levels of long-form content online as well as increasing ad loads.

Notably, mid-roll ads have the highest completion rates — but in general video ads in long-form content have high-completion rates because consumers are more engaged and likely to finish viewing both the content and the ads tied to it. Yup, mid-roll reaches that captive audience many television programs enjoyed before the advent of TiVo.

Another interesting finding in FreeWheel’s just-released first-quarter video monetization report, mobile video views account for less than 1% of all video views, and 80% of mobile views are from Apple devices.

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