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Relevance vital to short-form video ads

News, 17 November 2016

LONDON: The volume of short-form video being watched in the UK has jumped 50% in the past year, according to research which also reveals the challenges for marketers to deliver new video ad experiences and thoughtful brand integration.

AOL commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 digital video viewers across the UK using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, and reported that the volume of short-form video consumption was growing fastest among 25-34 year olds at 69%.

But the longest viewing sessions were among 18-24 year olds, at an average of 26 minutes, closely followed by 25-34 year olds on 23 minutes; the over-45s spent only 15 minutes on this activity.

For all of them quality was important, with 58% saying they lose patience if the production quality of video is not good enough. Additional quality indicators relevant to video advertising included brand fit, uniqueness of the content, and appropriate length.

Almost two-thirds (63%) said they were prepared to see a brand advertised or involved with a video they are watching, if the content is interesting to watch.

And almost half (47%) said that if they are watching a video they like, they don't mind if a brand is really prominent throughout.

Viewers also revealed that they are more likely (54%) to watch an ad if it is related to the destination content, while 41% said they would prefer brands to be featured in the video they are trying to watch rather than being put in a pre-roll.

"Whilst pre-roll remains an important and effective way to speak to target audiences, brands need to get smart about other ways they can tap into short-form video," said Mark Melling, senior director of AOL Video, Europe.

"Digital video is the most powerful medium for connecting advertisers with their consumers, but it's still a maturing medium that's going through major change," he added.

The need for innovation was highlighted in the feelings of the 63% who wanted brands to come up with more interesting approaches than the pre-roll.

And the standard 30-second ad has no place around short-form video, with viewers indicating that between 12 and 22 seconds was acceptable depending on the length of the content they were setting out to watch.

Data sourced from AOL; additional content by Warc staff