A few years ago, people started saying that video advertising was having its moment. Fast forward to now, and we see that this so-called moment has stretched into an era with an endless horizon. 

You don’t have to look far to understand why video has so much staying power in the advertising space. The proof is evident in the many head-turning video advertising stats that grow more compelling every year. We put together a list of 10 must-know video ad statistics to help you understand why video is where it’s at for publishers and advertisers in 2021. Read on.

Playwire helps publishers reach new revenue heights. To do that, we do video advertising better. Want to learn more? Reach out to us.


People Watch Video Content from Start to Finish

Everybody knows that attention spans aren’t what they used to be. But when it comes to video ads, people are willing to pay a little more attention. In fact, North American video completion rates in the fourth quarter of 2020 were at 81%, according to an eMarketer survey. That means that North American digital video viewers were watching video ads from start to finish 81% of the time.

Why does that matter? Because advertisers are consistently getting their whole message out there — not just the first few seconds — via video. Video completion rate is a benchmark video ad performance metric that can command high-dollar inventory buys.

Everyone Watches Online Videos — for Hours a Day

It would be one thing if video advertising stats showed that videos were effective but only reached a small slice of the public. But that’s simply not the case — at least not in the United States.

According to eMarketer, the average U.S. adult in 2021 will watch online video content for two hours and 29 minutes every day. If you’re running ads every few minutes, that’s a whole lot of impressions to sell. 

In other good news for publishers and advertisers, the amount of time U.S. adults spend watching digital video each day appears to be rising. In 2020, people were watching an average of nine fewer minutes of video each day than they are in 2021. 

Videos (and Video Ads) Reach Younger Viewers

Most advertisers love reaching the younger population. Get the brand message across early, and you have a lifelong brand fan on your hands. One way advertisers can reach those younger audiences is through video.

It’s true — Common Sense Media, a kid- and family-focused nonprofit, found in its Common Sense Census that 66% of teenagers in the U.S. watch an online video every day. In 2021, publishers monetize the vast majority of online videos with ads, meaning publishers have the key to accessing younger audiences, and advertisers are willing to pay for it.

Decision-Makers Prefer Video to Text

It’s not just kids, though. People in positions of corporate power like video, too. Digital Information World found that 59% of those in senior executive seats prefer to watch video when given the choice between a video or text article about the same subject. 

This is welcome news for advertisers in the B2B arena. Reaching corporate decision-makers when you’re selling a B2B product or service is worth more than its weight in gold.

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More Online Video, Less TV

Remember when television was one of the only places you would see video ads? Those days are over, and TV’s pull with consumers is waning. Over the last few years, adults have been spending more time watching online videos and less time watching television. 

Of course, TV still has a small edge over digital video in terms of time spent viewing. In 2021, eMarketer predicts that adults will spend an average of 48 more minutes watching TV than digital video per day. Still, digital video is taking over the market and, if the trend continues, will soon completely dominate it. 

For advertisers, that means budgets need to shift accordingly. And for publishers, this video advertising stat provides nothing less than a glowing forecast for investing in digital video production.

Digital Video Ad Spend is Growing

Excluding a small dip in 2020, digital video advertising spending has grown every year since 2017, and it’s projected to continue growing through 2024. According to Statista, in 2017, spending for mobile and desktop video advertising in the U.S. came close to $9 billion. In 2021, it’s predicted to top $11 billion. By 2024? More than $12.5 billion.

Talk about consistent growth. Meanwhile, the mobile portion of that spend has grown each year, included in the projection.

But Programmatic Video Ad Spend is Growing Faster

Think the growth rates for standard video advertising were impressive? Wait until you hear about programmatic video advertising

Programmatic video advertising spending in the U.S. alone was a little over $24.5 billion in 2019, Statista found. In 2022 — that’s a year from now — that spend is expected to skyrocket to almost $43 billion.

Mobile Video is on the Move

A lot of advertisers pulled back from mobile video spending when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That was an unfortunate bump in what had been a smooth road of consistent growth. Even as the pandemic continues, however, ad industry experts predict that in-app video advertising spending will rebound in a big way in 2021 — to the tune of a 27.6% increase in spending over 2020, for a total of just over $18 billion.

The take-home message? Now is a pretty good time to get in on in-app advertising.

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Consumers Want to Learn About New Products Through Video

Both publishers and advertisers have a vested interest in ads being effective. If they aren’t effective, the advertiser is wasting their money and likely to spend less on publishers’ inventory in the future. 

In terms of effectiveness, it turns out that video ads are hard to beat. According to HubSpot, roughly 72% of surveyed consumers said they would prefer to watch a video to learn about a product or service.

And They Remember What They See

Consumers may prefer videos to other ad formats because they have an easier time remembering what the video is actually about. According to Social Media Week, video viewers said they retained a staggering 95% of messages they got via video. When you’re a brand wanting to become a household name, it’s going to be a challenge to get higher information retainment than that. 

Capitalize on Video Ads with Playwire

For publishers who are considering ways to grow their revenue, these video advertising stats give you the answer to “why” video advertising is the solution. At Playwire, we take care of the “how.” How do we grow your revenue through video advertising? By building the best video player in the business, creating vertical-specific video content every day, and selling your video inventory for more — every time.

Ready to see the revenue-generating power of video advertising? Then you’re ready to work with Playwire. To get started, contact us online today.

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