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Viewing time as a cross-media metric: Comparing viewing time for video advertising on television and online

MediaScience is the leading provider of lab-based audience research, incorporating a range of neuro-measures including biometrics, facial expression analysis, eye tracking, EEG, and more. With state-of-the-art labs in New York, Chicago, and Austin, MediaScience is discovering actionable insights in advertising, technology, media, and consumer trends.

Dr. Duane Varan, the global authority of neuromarketing research, founded Audience Labs (formerly the Interactive Television Research Institute) during his tenure at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, in 2001. In 2005, he launched the Beyond : 30 Project, a consortium exploring the changing media and advertising landscape, and in 2008, he was approached by Disney Media Networks to set up a dedicated custom research lab on a broader scale – and so MediaScience was born. Though he officially left Murdoch in 2015, he continues to maintain some research links with the University of South Australia and has been widely recognised for his innovative contributions to teaching and the neuromarketing industry as evidenced by a long list of awards and over 90 published academic papers in his field.

Below is an abstract from one of his papers about comparing viewing time for video advertising on television and online from the Journal of Business Research.

The Media Rating Council recommends weighting advertising exposure by viewing time. Prior research shows viewing time has diminishing returns, implying that effectiveness equivalent to a 100% complete exposure could be achieved by a lower threshold. Results from four laboratory experiments, extending prior banner-ad research to dynamic video ads, suggest 75% viewed is a potential threshold. A second contribution identifies different viewing time distributions for television and online video, due to differences in ad avoidance. More television ads have viewing times exceeding the 75% threshold, and so are more effective than the typical online video ad. Online networks could charge fees equivalent to television ads for video ads that exceed the 75% threshold. A third contribution is the use of interval outcome estimation (IOE), which revealed asymmetric effects of viewing time and that brand familiarity rather than viewing time is the only necessary explanation of ad effectiveness measured by recall.

Bellman, Steven & Beal, Virginia & Wooley, Brooke & Varan, Duane. (2020). Viewing time as a cross-media metric: Comparing viewing time for video advertising on television and online. Journal of Business Research. 120. 103-113. 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.07.034.

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