Business Marketing

The sweet spot for ad length in web videos

How long should a video ad be?

According to a new report by, when viewers view free content online, consumers have a very specific threshhold as to what is the acceptable duration of an online ad before seeing the free content, and it isn’t exactly what the traditional television advertisement has programmed our nation to believe is an advertisement.

In the month of December alone, 182 million American web users watched online video, averaging 23.2 hours per viewer, totaling 43.5 billion videos watched in the month. Fully 85.3 percent of the American web audience viewed online video, according to comScore.

Most of those web videos come with ads prior to the video beginning, and PollPosition’s telephone poll reveals that 15 seconds is the acceptable length for a video ad, according to 54 percent of Americans, while only 3 percent find a 60 second video ad to be acceptable and 12 percent said the traditional 30 seconds was an appropriate length. Most intriguing, 27 percent of respondents said they had no opinion on the matter at all.

For the majority of people who have a strong opinion on the matter, most lean toward 15 seconds as the appropriate length for an ad before a free video on sites like YouTube. Marketing professionals across the nation are looking for ways to reach consumers, many of whom are turning to the booming web video option, but it should be noted that this study does not pertain to web videos themselves, just the ads embedded by the host before the actual video. For the highest impact, it appears that 15 seconds is the sweet spot for embedded video ads.


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