What is a digital advertising video view? And why can no one agree on the standard length of one?
Video views calculator
Video view formula
To calculate video views, you need the following metrics:
Ensure you understand what second-length the VTR refers to. Is it VTR of a full complete? Or it is only a 10” VTR. Once you understand this, the video views that the formula calculates will be in relation to that second length.
Types of video ad formats
Video ads come in many different shapes and sizes, but they can be narrowly defined to either “in-stream” or “out-stream”. Please note when we are talking about video ads, we are primarily referring to ads that are found on websites, on social channels and in apps. VOD (video on demand) can be included in this but they are unique to TV-related services. We would consider these ads in-stream.
In-stream ads are ads that are served within a website’s or app’s existing video player. A classic example of this would be YouTube Trueview’s skippable ads, which is housed within YouTube’s video player. Within in-stream, the primary ad format is “pre-roll”, which is served before the content the user has selected to watch. Ads that play in the middle of content are called “mid-roll” and ads served at the end (far less available) are called “post-roll”. Not all in-stream ads are skippable, so publishers must make the judgement if forcing a user to watch a long ad before content is affecting user experience.
Out-stream ads are ads that are served outside of a website's or app’s video player. An example of this is a video ad that appears between the text of news article. This has allowed publishers to monetise more parts of their site or app - not just the video content that sits in video players. The positive of this format is that users can simply scroll past or close it if they are not interested, but this means VTRs and VCRs are generally a lot lower than in-stream ads, especially the non-skippable kind.
Vendor definitions of video views
As mentioned earlier, each vendor (in particularly social media platforms) will have their own definitions for what they constitute as a video view. Not all are equal, so do not assume that a video view is equal to 30” - it may well be 3” or less if you are taking numbers from Facebook.
Here are some of the most commonly used vendors' definition of a view:
- YouTube Trueview (skippable): 30 seconds or to the end of the video (whichever is shorter)
- Facebook: 3 seconds or more
- Instagram video: 3 seconds or more
- Instagram story: upon opening
- Snapchat story: upon opening
- Twitter: 3 seconds or more