Up To 25% Abandon Online Videos If They Start With An Ad. And That’s The Good News.

Feb 3rd, 2010 | By | Category: Internet TV, Podcasting Research, Video

Video distribution and analytics company Tubemogul reports that as many as 25% abandon online videos if the videos begin with an advertisement:

  • Overall, 15.89% of viewers click away from a video rather than sit through a pre-roll ad.
  • The trend is far more pronounced with top magazines and newspapers, where 24.85% of viewers click away.
  • For large broadcasters, only 10.9% of viewers click away during an ad.

According to Tubemogul, “These results present a clear tradeoff: run pre-roll ads, and potentially lose up to a quarter of your audience. It paints a picture to publishers that is not entirely positive about pre-rolls.”

But that’s the good news.

The Bad News:

The bad news is that the people that bail on pre-roll ads are likely to be the same affluent, time-shifting first adopters that make up the podcast audience.

These are people that are tuning out mainstream media and tuning in to on-demand media.

They’re people that are hard to reach with traditional media.

They’re people that are “turning away from…’interruption’ advertising models”.

According to recent data from Edison Research, fans of video podcasts are 6 times as likely to actually “enjoy” the ads they see as viewers of traditional TV.

More research is needed to confirm this – but it’s not a stretch to connect the dots. Publishers that use pre-roll ads are losing the most valuable part of their audience – before the show even gets started.


For a 48-hour period, Tubemogul tracked the number of viewers that clicked away from a video during 10-30 second pre-roll ads. They tracked 1,797,560 video streams. The sample includes both on-site and off-site data for top television broadcasters, magazines and newspapers. Only short-form videos (i.e. 3-10 minutes) were included in the sample; full-length TV episodes were excluded.

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2 Responses to “Up To 25% Abandon Online Videos If They Start With An Ad. And That’s The Good News.”

  1. John Coonen says:

    Did the report look at alternate methods, and is there data on that?

  2. elliot says:

    This seems sort of obvious to me. If they would keep the ads under 5 seconds it might not be so bad.

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