What is a video View Through Rate? We'll show you how to calculate VTR
Video view through rate or VTR is a video metric that measures how effective your video ad has been at influencing users to watch part or all of your video ad - or simply put, how effective it has been at recording a video view. A VTR of 100% means every impression served resulted in every user watching part or all of your video. We say "part or all" of video because you as the marketer running the campaign must at first define what a video view is. Please read our page on video views to understand why this is trickier than it sounds!
We recommend measuring VTRs for different second lengths during your campaign. For example, for a 45” long asset, you could record all 30” VTRs as your primary KPI, while also recording 100% completed view VTRs.
In reporting tools of an ad-server or DSP, you will often find video views being reporting in quartiles, e.g. 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% viewed. This is another way of displaying view through rate, but instead of time-specific VTRs, they are quartile-specific. This can be used to analyse drop-off, thus helping you inform the creative team how to improve future videos.
VTR is a key metric to use when running any video campaign, especially branding campaigns whereby you want as many users as possible to watch as much of your video. This will ensure your activity has had a chance to communicate the entire campaign message.
To calculate view through rate, you will need the following metrics:
Ensure you understand what second-length the video view refers to. Is it video view of a full complete? Or it is only a 10” video view. Once you understand this, the VTR that the formula calculates will be in relation to that second length.
To help put the metric into context, it is imperative that you use VTR alongside CPV (cost per view) when judging a campaign’s efficiency.
For example, compare the following two vendors:
Vendor A delivers a 30” VTR of 5%, driving 1,000 views for a spend of $1,000.
Vendor B delivers a 30” VTR of 55%, driving 500 views for a spend of $1,000.
If you analyse performance by just looking at VTR, you will mistakenly assume Vendor B is the most efficient, however Vendor A has a lower CPV of $1 compared to Vendor B at $2. Having that said, if Vendor B is delivering the video to a more valuable audience or the ad is being served in a more premium environment for example, it may be worth paying more for the view. Remember context is also key when analysing video campaign performance.
If you notice users are not watching until the end of your video, you may want to consider analysing where the drop-off is occurring in the video and inform a creative agency or team. This kind of analysis can help inform creative teams what is working and what is not, highlighting any sections that may need editing to retain user attention.
An easy way to do this is by using the quartile VTR measurement. If you see a drop in users from 50% to 75% for example, you may want to see what is happening at that point in the video and suggest an edit to improve attention and completion rate.
A lot vendors use VCR instead of VTR and in all honestly, it does not matter which name you use as soon as you are consistent in reporting. In Google jargon, they define VTR as the completed, non-skipped view (of 30”) divided by the number of impressions served.
All in all, it does not matter which name you use, just make sure your entire team or agency uses the same one or else you will be always confused when speaking about different metrics.