Smart ad formats continue to lead mobile video engagement

Joseph O'Halloran | 16 December 2014
The Q3 2014 edition of the Celtra Mobile Display Ad Performance Report has revealed continued growth across key metrics such as expansion rate, engagement rate and time spent.

The report from the cross-screen mobile advertising technology supplier is designed to provide insight and market analysis about the performance of mobile display ad products and for the third quarter of 2014 found that fundamentally smart video ads are still outperforming other format types in engagement rate and time spent, while ads placed within apps witness longer time spent on ad unit and higher video play rates than ads placed in Web browsers. This trend has been consistent throughout 2014.
The quarter was an excellent one for video completion, achieving a rate of 41.5%, something that Celtra described as 'staggering'. This meant that over two-fifths of users completed watching videos in display ads. During the third quarter, standard format type ads received a 0.66% expansion rate, compared with 0.61% in Q2; by comparison, smart video format ads still had the edge with 0.68%.
Ad engagement rate rose by 16% from Q2 for standard format ads, while it remained roughly the same for other format types. The highest unit engagement rates for expandable banners were witnessed in technology (18.2%) and entertainment verticals (17.4%). Presentation ad features achieved higher engagement rates than video and gaming features. This said is to be mainly because of Swipey, the most used presentation feature.
Time spent on standard expandable banner increased by almost four seconds compared with the previous quarter, but smart video ad formats continue to keep the users engaged the longest at 23.7 seconds. The longest time spent on ad unit was witnessed in CPG with 26.3 seconds and finance verticals weighing in with 23.4 seconds.
Interestingly, the report found that standard ads' manual video play rate actually dipped in Q3 2014 while smart video format ads continued to use auto-play video settings. The technology vertical led here with a video play rate of 30.2%.