Survey Says: Online Video Viewers Tune In During Primetime, Too

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It should come as no surprise that the prime time for online video viewing is now the same as it is for traditional TV, but now we’re seeing research to prove that out. As more viewing moves to mobile, tablet, and connected TV devices, the amount of viewing that happens online during the prime time hours continues to increase. And according to video ad startup TubeMogul, brands who serve advertisements during that time are seeing greater awareness and brand favorability for their products.

TubeMogul, which operates a video ad buying platform, collected data from hundreds of millions of impressions run during a series of top brand campaigns in 2012. It studied the overall lift and effectiveness of those campaigns based on data from its BrandSights product, which provides surveys to viewers who have seen ads that it has delivered.

The survey found the prime time for online video is the same as it is for traditional TV — that is, the hours between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m. every night. Not only is that around the same time that viewers are tuning into online video — the research found that the number of video impressions served peaked at around 11:00 p.m. — but it’s the time that’s most effective for viewers to see branded advertisements.

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According to the survey, viewers who saw an ad during that time period were twice as likely to remember the brand message as those who did not watch the ad (6.6 percent vs. 3.0 percent). Perhaps more importantly, brand favorability tripled for viewers who saw an ad during that period, from 2.1 percent to 6.9 percent. Engagement rates for interactive pre-roll ads are also high during that time, with click-through rates at about 1.3 percent. (They’re highest during lunchtime, at 1.4 percent.)

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While there were certainly differences in the time of day in which an ad is shown, the quality of the site on which ads appear have much less impact on their effectiveness, according to TubeMogul. A look at the awareness, message association and brand favorability show only minor differences. The biggest delta is on the favorability side, where someone viewing an ad might associate a brand unfavorably with lower-quality content.

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