Pre-Roll, Mid-Roll, or Out-Streamed: Which is the King of Video Ads?

Wed May 24, 2017

Rachel Cagle

Video ads tend to have a bad reputation. In most cases, they’re seen as interruptions and intrusive pop-ups. So, if your clients are going to use this advertising medium, they need to know which format internet users find the least interfering. Luckily, IPG Media Lab and YuMe conducted a study that reveals the answer.

IPG and YuMe’s study consisted of 6,864 participants who volunteered to watch video content that contained 15 seconds of either pre-roll, mid-roll, or out-stream ads on any device and rate their experience. Pre-roll ads are shown before the designated video content, mid-roll ads occur in the middle, and out-stream ads play outside the video entirely (eMarketer gave the example of such an ad appearing between paragraphs of text).

Not surprisingly, pre-roll ads came up on top. Here are IPG and YuMe’s results:


  1. Mid-Roll: 53% of participants found this format interruptive
  2. Out-Stream: 46%
  3. Pre-Roll: 17%


  1. Mid-Roll: 72%
  2. Out-Stream: 60%
  3. Pre-Roll: 17%

Not only were pre-roll ads found to be the least interruptive of the three formats, these ads were also considered the most informative and engaging of the trio as well.

Now, this doesn’t mean that video advertisers should give up on using mid-roll ads. The ad’s environment just needs to be more carefully considered. For example, viewers who stream video on their TVs are used to ads popping up throughout their videos. So, while mid-roll ads may infuriate computer and smartphone users and be quickly skipped as a result, TV streamers have a higher likelihood of watching mid-roll ads to completion.

Out-stream ads shouldn’t be pushed to the wayside either. The study found that out-streams actually have a higher chance of being viewed completely if they are put in a setting that correlates well with the information the ad is communicating.

So, let your clients in on the findings, and make sure they know that mid-roll and out-stream ads can be successful as well as long as the respective audience and location are considered more thoroughly.

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About Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Brand Research Specialist at SalesFuel. She holds a Bachelors in English from The Ohio State University. She specializes in major accounts research for AdMall.

View all posts by Rachel Cagle