Stronger engagement with live video leads to greater ad effectiveness

At the 2016 Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando, Florida, Yahoo presented research into the opportunities for advertisers through live video. Most recently in this series we looked at how to measure the emotional response of live video.

There’s little question that consumers have adapted to watching live online video events. They exhibit higher levels of engagement, and live video is ideally consumed on the mobile devices that we have with us 24 hours a day—the devices many of us are using from the time we wake up until our heads hit the pillow.

So what does it mean for advertisers, and how can they take advantage of this trend?

First, our research asked a basic question: How well does advertising fit with the content being viewed?

We learned that 48% more users perceived digital ads to fit better with live streamed content than in on-demand content. Most viewers expect advertising in live video, so it's a great fit on digital channels.

Second, our research found that ads viewed during live content drive a greater emotional engagement than those seen in on-demand video:

  • Ads in non-live on-demand programs elicited an emotional response 16% of the time spent viewing
  • That increased by 75% when looking at the same ads in live online video to an average emotional engagement of 28%

By a wide margin, emotional engagement with ads on live video was far more positive than with on-demand: When viewing the same ad in both delivery channels, users expressed a positive reaction (i.e., joy, surprise) to live video 16% of the time, compared to only 2% of the time while watching on-demand, a 700% increase.

Here’s the payoff for advertisers: The results detailed above have tremendous ramifications for online campaigns, because the positive emotions attached to advertising in live streams deliver significantly higher scores in brand favorability, purchase likelihood, and aided awareness.

This positive halo effect for advertisers on live streaming content vs. on-demand varied from a meaningful increase of 10% in aided awareness, to a 77% percent increase in purchase likelihood and a whopping 481% increase in brand favorability.

For any advertising professional considering what channel will provide the highest ROI, these results provide an inescapable conclusion: live online video viewing offers the greatest opportunity for ad effectiveness, and this trend promises to grow even more pronounced as technology improves and the influence of the tech-savvy millennial segment grows larger.

To learn more, please download our custom research into the opportunities with live video or read our article published by ANA.