Viewers pay more attention to ads in educational videos

There is little doubt that consumers are hungry for mobile and digital video. Indeed, recent data by SensorTower suggests that US mobile users spent around $1.25 billion on subscription video-on-demand apps in 2018.

But what exactly are user motivations to view video digitally and which screens do they prefer to use throughout the day? A new study by the IAB has tried to shed some light on consumer motivation and ad receptivity of digital video.

It found that almost 90% of weekly online video viewers choose to stream video to unwind and relax at the end of the day, whilst 76% are motivated by planned viewings, and 75% view videos to take a break.

However, viewers tend to pay more attention towards video ads when viewing educational videos (40%) and during the earlier hours of the day.

Video ads also appear to be less frowned upon compared to other types of digital ads, as 80% of viewers accept ads in exchange for viewing free content. Another 56% said they would prefer contextual ads, whilst 37% of respondents were more receptive towards ads when they exposed to targeted ads.

Anna Bager, the Executive Vice President of Industry Initiatives, IAB said: “Digital video isn’t traditional TV, and today there are many more viewing options. As consumers jump from different content and different screens throughout their day, their openness and receptiveness to advertising changes, and what it takes to successfully reach them shifts as well.”

Mobile phones are now the top devices for informational, spontaneous and escapist video viewing. Users aged 13 to 17 years are more likely to use smartphones for this type of viewing. The IAB recommends using shorter vertical video formats for these viewing states.

Meanwhile, ad relevance is less of an issue for connected TV viewers as they tend to view typically during times of relaxation.

Educational and instructional videos ranked highest on desktop. These attract some of the highest advertising attention. As such, contextual and information ad types may be the best suitable fit.