Google Loves DoubleClick's Video Research, Too

You know those irksome video ads that autoplay without sound when you load a page? DoubleClick serves a lot of those. And a few weeks ago DoubleClick released some market research confirming that viewers interact with video ads more often than they interact with static banners. Google, no doubt, is interested in the research.

DoubleClick studied 301 video ad campaigns that were placed by more than 130 advertisers over a four-month period in 2006. The press release comes off as very pro-video, but I sense some obfuscation.

For example, DoubleClick asserts that viewers click video ad play buttons more than they click on image ads. The typical clickthrough rate with images is between 0.1 and 0.2 percent, and DoubleClick says viewers click the play button 0.32 percent of the time.

But look closer and you see -- if I am indeed reading this release correctly -- that the overall interaction rate with the video ad is 1.13 percent (in line with banner ads). Of that interaction, 0.32 percent of users click the play button. In other words, 30 percent of the 1 percent interested in the ad push the play button. Not incredibly encouraging. I wonder what button the other 70 percent is pushing?

Another data point: Most videos play two-thirds of the way through. That means most of the time, viewers are stopping the ads with the stop button. There's your other 70 percent.

The release concludes on an up note: "Online video ads experience click-through rates ranging from 0.4 percent to 0.74 percent depending on the online video format. By comparison, the click-through rate for plain GIF or JPG image ads ranges between 0.1 and 0.2 percent."