SAN FRANCISCO: As advertisers try to pinpoint the most effective ways of reaching mobile consumers, a new report has found that mobile rich media (94%) and interactive in-stream (87%) achieve the highest completion rates.

In addition, mobile full page ads are "ideal" for driving engagement on tablets (14%) while mobile rich units drive engagement on smartphones (11%), according to a study of US-based mobile campaigns run with RhythmOne, a media technology firm.

RhythmOne's 2015 Mobile Advertising Benchmarks Report covered 20 advertiser categories and five ad formats – interactive in-stream video, standard in-stream video, interstitial video, mobile full page and mobile rich media.

In common with some other studies that suggest short-form video is more effective than lengthier videos, the report found that increased video length (30 seconds versus 15 seconds) negatively impacts the video completion rate for a number of categories.

This is especially so for general entertainment (-21.5%), restaurants/quick service restaurants (-13.4%), technology (-9.8%), telecom (-8.5%) and travel (-7.0%).

The most significant loss of viewers occurs during the first quartile of the video, the report found, leading it to recommend that advertisers start their video with “strong” content to capture and retain user attention.

The report also identified the top five performing advertising categories by video completion rates and engagement in 2015.

It established that 94.5% of mobile viewers finish watching sports and fitness video ads while 92% complete entertainment (DVD release) ads. The other top categories for completion rates are travel (91.2%), retail (89.4%) and financial services (89.3%).

Meanwhile, the top categories for engagement rates are professional services (5.4%), books and magazines (5.0%), entertainment-feature film release (4.2%), financial services (3.5%) and, tied at fifth, entertainment-TV tune-in and restaurants/QSR (3.3%).

"As marketers adjust to the central role smartphones and tablets play in the daily life of every consumer, we are witnessing the channel truly mature," said Dan Slivjanovski, CMO at RhythmOne.

"Mobile-first, cross-device executions are taking hold and becoming the new standard. Our mission is to continue to develop innovative mobile and cross-platform formats that engage omnichannel consumers so that our marketers can realise the highest return possible on that engagement."

Data sourced from RhythmOne; additional content by Warc staff