Web publishers striking while the iron is hot would be one way to sum up the latest Video Monetisation Report from FreeWheel, which shows that ads in long-form movie clips are getting lengthier.

The content monetisation firm has recently witnessed evidence of growth in both the length of online video ad breaks and the number of commercials shown. This is particularly the case for videos categorised as ‘long-form’, typically lasting over 20 minutes, which boast strong rates for ad views and completions.

Overall impressions on advertisements within long-form video content rose 35% year on year in Q2 2014, with 94% of viewers seeing their ad break out to the very end. At the same time, the average number of mid-roll adverts shown rose from 2.7 in Q2 2013 up to 3.7 in Q2 2014 – an action which saw the typical break increase from 68 seconds up to 98 seconds.

Freewheel highlighted this as an example of publishers ‘testing the waters’ by bringing the duration of online video spots closer to those of TV.

Blurring the lines

Ad views on quality productions are typically high and the report noted that viewers are now seeing TV as TV, regardless of which device they are watching it on.

Publishers are however noticing that different types of advertisements suit different types of viewers. For example, 65% of ads on short-form content delivered to smartphones last a maximum of 15 seconds, which is slightly higher than the 50% on tablet.

Pre-roll ads are a popular method of monetisation for videos on desktop and laptop, and now account for 75% of all instances of advertising within short-form content on these devices. On smartphones, though, publishers are more hesitant to start their shorter videos with advertisements, and pre-roll is used in just 40-50% of cases.     

Fortunately this highly attentive approach seems to be paying off. Ad completion rates range from 73% on short-form content, and with just 6% of long-form viewers not seeing their ad break through, online video appears to be making a name for itself among brands of all sizes.

Financial sector does more with less

As for the biggest beneficiaries, financial services companies saw their digital ad views double year on year (up 144%), with pharma/health (120%), leisure and travel (60%) and consumer packaged goods (36%) also seeing healthy rises in views.

The finding may have come as a result of strong creative from the financial sector, which only made up 9% of all online video ad spend. Higher investments were made by firms with backgrounds in consumer packed goods (21%), auto, energy and manufacturing (18%) and retail (15%).

Retailers did not see any notable growth in their number of hits, but together with consumer packaged goods and financial services, accounted for over half of all video ad impressions.