You watched one video ad on Hulu every five minutes and 27 seconds in October 2010 according to comScore’s U.S. Online Video Rankings. By December 2010, the frequency of video ads served on Hulu increased to one every four minutes and 37 seconds. If Hulu kept up with that same rate of increase for its video ad delivery, we’d now be watching an ad on Hulu roughly every two minutes. But we’re not.
Hulu seems to have comfortably settled into delivering one online video ad a few tenths of a second shy of every four minutes and 35 seconds of content. The internet’s top destination for streaming premium quality content delivered an average of 215.5 minutes of video and 47.1 video ads to every viewer in March 2011. That equals one video ad delivered every four minutes and 34.52 seconds. The April numbers average out to one video ad every four minutes and 34.53 seconds. The latest figures from May are a touch higher at one video ad every four minutes and 34.67 seconds.
Given the fact that Hulu’s the biggest in the video ad delivery business (the company delivered over 1.26 billion video ads last month, eclipsing the number of any other U.S. online video property), I think it’s easy to argue they put a lot of time into thinking about things like how often they should deliver video ads. The company seems to have finally settled on a sweet spot in terms of frequency of video ad delivery against long-form content that balances the scales of revenue generation and user experience.
By comparison, the last time YouTube made comScore’s Top 10 list of Online Video Properties by Video Ads Viewed it clocked in at one ad every 66 minutes, television ad breaks occur about once every six minutes, and the latest comScore numbers also show Viacom Digital to deliver a video ad once every six minutes and 20 seconds, while Microsoft sites come in at one video ad every four minutes and 22 seconds.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if, how, and when these numbers change. Stay tuned.