Report: Saturday Has Highest Number of Video Ad Views

Says publishers are monetizing spike in streaming for day, special events

Saturday, traditionally the least-watched night in primetime television, is actually the most popular day for online video viewing, notes a report by FreeWheel published May 23, with viewing rising 13% on Saturday compared to the lowest viewing day, Tuesday.

According to its Video Monetization Report for Q1 2011, Saturday also has the highest number of video ad views of any day of the week, 13% more than the lowest monetized day, Sunday.

The data, which comprises 10 billion video views and 5.5 billion video ad views served by FreeWheel in Q1 2011, suggests that online video viewing is additive to linear television viewing, where Sunday is the most expensive night for television advertising.

FreeWheel also notes that publishers are likely to monetize the Saturday spike in video traffic, and especially for special events no matter what the day -- like March Madness -- where there are a finite number of spots available.

"It is the law of supply and demand -- the more scarce and the more finite the inventory is, the more expensive it becomes, says JoAnna Abel, FreeWheel's VP of marketing. "It's not necessarily just day-of-the-week driven, but if there's an event on that particular day where the number of advertising opportunities are limited, it would make sense that you'd see publishers charge more for those opportunities."

Mid-roll ads (those that are shown throughout the length of a program) have the highest completion rates, as do video ads of any length within long-form content. Mid-roll ads also continued to have significant volume growth in the first quarter, increasing 30% over Q4 2010, due both to the growth of long-form content available online and increasing ad loads.

Pre-roll ads (those that play before the start of a video), however, display a more classic advertising seasonality with the largest volume of online video pre-roll ads occurring in the fourth quarter and tapering off in Q1, traditionally a lighter-spending quarter for advertisers.

As mid-roll ads mature, however, their current month-over-month growth will likely start to mirror the seasonality of pre-roll ads when both achieve equal volume in the market.

"[Pre-roll] was the first format that was adopted online," Abel says. "Mid-roll is growing month over month because there is still so much room for that format to grow."