Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 13-09-2011

Pre-roll video advertising is thriving with a 48% improvement over 2010, according to a media spend report by AccuStream Research.

The research firm said that premium, syndicated, aggregator, Tier 2 and Tier 3, user-generated content like YouTube offerings and social media inventory online is powering a thriving market forecast to reach $1.56 billion in 2011 gross billings.

In terms of having the largest ad inventory and gross media spend, hte results are unsurprising: The aforementioned media darling YouTube is the largest pre roll video advertising network online, followed by online TV leader Hulu.

The top ten is rounded out with Disney/ABC, NBC/Comcast, CBS/CBS Audience Network, Viacom, Yahoo, NewsCorp/Fox, VEVO and Turner/TimeWarner, which together account for 85.2% of gross media spend associated with the pre roll ad format online in 2011.

Pre-roll ads are being inserted (on average) every 1.61 video content plays against all classes pre roll inventory in 2011, excluding YouTube. The corresponding insertion frequency in 2010 was 1.5, 1.4 in 2009, Accustream pointed out. Higher insertion frequencies indicate fewer pre roll units per number of video plays. When YouTube inventory is included, average insertion frequency is 2.27.

There has also been an increase in the average length of pre roll spots in 2011, with the 30-second format exploited more frequently; also popular is its 15-second counterpart.

"There are 19.5% more sites, networks and brands monetizing with pre roll in 2011 compared to 2010, a testament to the durability, flexibility, targeting and accountability associated with this execution format," noted Accustream research director Paul Palumbo.