YouTube has a lot to offer advertisers in terms of the viewability of video ads. Google recently revealed in a study that 91% of the video ads on its popular video hosting site are viewable, as compared to the average 54% viewability of video ads the company serves elsewhere online.
Google defined “viewability” according to the standards set forth by the Media Rating Council and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. These guidelines state at least 50% of a video ad’s pixels must be seen on screen for at least two consecutive seconds or more for a video ad to be considered viewable. Therefore, YouTube’s high viewability rate means advertisers are more likely to get eyeballs on their video ads.
The study from Google backs up some recent data about cost-per-click (CPC) data from the digital giant. While CPC fell 13% across Google’s sites, the company’s CFO Patrick Pichette largely attributed this to a growing viewership of video ads on YouTube. More YouTube users are choosing to watch video ads instead of skipping them, driving down the overall cost to advertisers.
This is, of course, good news for YouTube. But the 54% average viewability rate for video ads across the rest of Google’s web using its ad platform DoubleClick is troublesome. This rate is better than the one digital video ad platform Vindico found the average internet brand recorded (47%); however, major media sites and publishers such as The New York Times, CNN, and even Hulu recorded a much higher viewability rate of 67%. So if Google wants to convince advertisers to place video ads on its owned sites and not on those of major media publishers, the company will need to improve overall viewability across desktop, mobile, and tablet devices.
Of course, several missing factors in Google’s study could indicate why YouTube video ads have such a high viewability. The video site’s ads are served front and center in a large video player, whereas ads across other parts of the web may not be in as large a player as prominently placed on a site. Google’s study also included mobile app data for YouTube (where 50% of the site’s views come from), but the rest of its research excluded this information, which could definitely skew the viewability rate of ads Google serves on other parts of the web.
Overall, though, the high viewability of video ads on YouTube are good news for advertisers. Thanks to YouTube’s TrueView ad format, more marketers are choosing to pay for ads only when they’re viewed by users. Combine this with the fact that YouTube ads have better click-through rates than other social sites, and advertisers have a massive opportunity to use Google’s online video site to get their brands’ messages fully seen and heard.