The stellar performance of online video

While video may take more investment for the initial creative, research from MediaMind shows that the benefits are clear.

Online video
Online video

Video is an essential part of a marketer’s repertoire, and online and mobile usage is growing. In August 2012, comScore reported that more than 1.2 billion internet users watched almost 200 billion online videos worldwide in June 2012.

According to Nielsen’s May 2012 Global Online Consumers and Multi-Screen Media: Today and Tomorrow report, more internet users watched video on computers (84%) than TV (83%) for the first time.

Other devices with potential internet connections also had significant audiences, including non-phone handheld devices (36%), game consoles (33%) and tablets (28%).

As online video evolves, MediaMind’s Instream Benchmark Research report sought to explore the key trends and performance benchmarks for the advertising formats available. The report followed analysis of approximately 4,200 video campaigns with nearly three billion impressions worldwide across the MediaMind video ad network from January - June 2012.

Worldwide, we analysed more than one billion in-stream video ad serving template (VAST) impressions and nearly two billion video player-ad interface definition (VPAID) impressions.


A lot has been said about the value of different metrics in online advertising. To name a few, CTR, interaction rate, dwell rate, conversions and more all have their strengths and weaknesses, proponents and detractors.

In this research we focused on analysing the common metrics available for each video format. For both VAST and VPAID, we measured CTR and completion rates. In addition, VPAID, which allows users to interact with the creative, allows us to analyse the interaction rates at the ad level.

Data & analysis

For approximately three billion video ad impressions served across the MediaMind video ad network, we found that both in-stream VAST and VPAID had significantly higher click-through rate (CTR) and interaction rates (VPAID only) than banners and rich media.

As expected, CTR by format stepped up along with the use of video - ranging from 0.10% for standard banners without video to 0.26% for rich media with video.

VAST Results

In-stream VAST ads are commonly seen by online video viewers and have some of the highest CTR rates compared to other online ads.

According to research from comScore in the US, internet users watched almost 36.9 billion videos and 9.6 billion in-stream video ads during July 2012.

It was found that those ads were found to have reached approximately 51.6% of the US population.

MediaMind analysed a sample of more than one billion VAST impressions and found that in-stream VAST's CTR of 2.84% was 27.4 times the rate of standard banners, and almost 12 times that of rich media.

Click-through rate by format

Source: MediaMind

In addition, the data shows that as the industry has standardised the implementation of Instream VAST ads, CTR increased from 0.77% in Q1 2011 to 3.05% in Q2 2012, and topped out at 3.09% in Q1 2012.

VAST CTR over time

Source: MediaMind

VPAID interaction

Among the ads analysed, VPAID experienced a lower overall CTR than VAST - 1.63% v 2.84%.

This can be explained from several angles: the campaigns focus on branding rather than direct response, viewers interact within the ad and don’t always click-through, and they are often served within long-form video content (TV shows and movies) where directing viewers to landing pages or dedicated sites is seen as disruptive to the overall viewing experience.

However, while CTR for VPAID may be lower, the format allows advertisers to capture data about how, and how often, the viewer interacted with the ad.

In-stream VPAID CTR & interaction rate

Source: MediaMind

The overall interaction rate for VPAID, or the number of interactions divided by the number of impressions, was 9.57%.

Interaction rates peaked at more than 500% (five interactions per ad per campaign) for some of the most impressive campaigns surveyed, but MediaMind excluded campaigns with an interaction rate higher than 30% in order to normalise the aggregate data.

Video completion rates by format

Source: MediaMind

All of the video ads analysed, including rich media with video, VAST and VPAID, were between 10 to 30 seconds in length.

VPAID ads registered a higher average completion rate than both VAST and rich media, at 68.14% versus 66.21% and 57.87%, respectively. 


Online video is becoming an important staple of any marketer’s repertoire. As marketers continue to chase those growing number of viewers, online video ad spending will increase from $2.93 billion in 2012 to $8.04 billion in 2016, and includes video ad spending delivered via computers as well as mobile devices.

Our analysis shows that online video is more effective than rich media in all three metrics measured: CTR, interaction rate and completion rates.

While video may take more investment for the initial creative, the benefits are irrefutable.

MediaMind’s Instream Benchmark Research report analyses VAST and VPAID performance of more than three billion impressions and 4300 campaigns.


You have

[DAYS_LEFT] Days left

of your free trial

Subscribe now

Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).