New research by monetisation rights management provider FreeWheel has found that online video viewing is additive to linear television viewing, not eating into prime time.
The latest quarterly FreeWheel Video Monetisation Report for Q1 2011 found that online video viewing is relatively constant during the week and that even though video views continue to rise due to consumer demand and the growing availability of professional content online, the more mature pre-roll video ad format displays classic advertising seasonality. The largest volume of pre-roll ads in online video occurred in Q4 and tapered off in Q1.

In terms of length of ads in online video streams, content producers are tending to align length of the content with length of the ad; 0:15s are more commonly placed in short-form content, while 0:30s are more commonly placed in long-form content.

Mid-rolls, which are increasingly placed in long-form content, continued to see significant volume growth in Q1 30% increase over Q4 2010, due to both the growth of long-form content available online and increasing ad loads.

Mid-roll ads were found to have the highest completion rates, as do any video ads within long-form content. Indeed, FreeWheel believes that there is a correlation between the two, arguing that consumers find long-form professional content engaging and are most likely to view both the ads and the content through to the end.

In terms of content types, news and live events had a dramatic impact on video viewing in Q1 with online video being actively sought during the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, with the highest video viewing occurring in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

Moving over to the mobile world, FreeWheel found that mobile video uptake was still small compared to online video viewing in general (less than 1%) and is driven by Apple devices, which account for four-fifths of all wireless video viewing. FreeWheel largely attributes this to the number of these devices in-market and the fact that so many content producers prioritised their video development for this platform ahead of others.