Digital advertisers all face the same problem. As users become increasingly dissatisfied with the number of ads they’re shown online and on mobile devices, they download ad blockers to stop them from showing up.
A recent survey conducted by adtech company OpenX in partnership with the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and MediaMath shows that 80 percent of consumers feel overwhelmed by ads, with eight in ten considering ad blockers. That’s in addition to the estimated one in three people who have used them in the past. But fortunately, the study also provides a solution in the way of opt-in video ads.
Opt-in ads, also known as rewarded videos, let users choose to watch in exchange for something such as a discount coupon or digital goods. They’re primarily used in mobile video games where players receive in-game currency or other bonuses in exchange for watching an advertisement. These rewarded videos enjoy exceptionally high returns in terms of engagement and completion, but brands outside of gaming have been slow to adopt them.
The OpenX study explains that one of the reasons for this is some marketers believe that the opt-in ads only works for games, but testing across multiple app types shows that the ad format is ready to go beyond gaming and into other app categories like photography, social networking, music and dating.
This determination matches well with findings from video ad technology company Tapjoy, which reported an astounding 97 percent completion rate for the 30-second Ferdinand movie trailer when it was converted to a rewarded video and coupled with some interactive minigames. However, those trailers were found in existing mobile games, which already has a highly receptive audience.
The OpenX paper states, “They (consumers) expect to be valued for their time spent engaging with a brand, and they see the opportunity to do this with a variety of advertisers and in all sorts of app environments.”
According to the OpenX survey, respondents said that they were willing to watch 15-second ads for certain value exchanges such as retailer discounts, free streaming music or an hour of premium streamed video content, but advertisers aren’t necessarily limited to that standard. Over half said that they were willing to watch a full minute of ad content in exchange for a retail discount while 77 percent would watch a 30-second ad for the same reward.
The survey data also shows that mobile advertising in general, when done well, can deliver high brand recall among consumers, strong click-through rates and purchases. Additionally, opt-in ads are ranked significantly higher than other formats, including pre-roll, mid-roll, social/native or pop-up/interstitial advertising.
Despite how opt-in videos align with key KPIs, particularly viewability, marketers haven’t been eager to use them. Responses from over 100 global marketers found that opt-in videos were used the least while the most popular format was in-feed/native ads at 59 percent—even though the overwhelming majority agreed that rewarded videos deliver better consumer experiences and ROI.
The study concludes that consumers are ready for deeper brand engagement, and ads need to provide more consumer-friendly experiences, but marketers may still need more time to come on board with the opt-in format.