TikTok reports non-skippable video ads may harm engagement

TikTok claims that non-skippable video ads may hinder engagement in a new report.

Consumers are more likely to watch and engage with brand-sponsored videos when they have control over their experience, according to the study.

Why we care. Engaging ads are essential for brand awareness, visibility, and conversions. If non-skippable ads are reducing engagement, it may be more effective to experiment with skippable ads to enhance viewer experience and improve campaign performance.

The stats. The TikTok study, which was conducted in conjunction with MAGNA Media Trials, a global media investment and intelligence company, found that:

  • 73% of viewers agree that having the ability to skip videos makes them more engaged in the experience.
  • 56% of viewers are more likely to actively watch videos sponsored by a brand when they have the option to skip.

Ad duration. TikTok added that while consumers tend to watch skippable ads for shorter durations, the distinction between the duration of skippable and non-skippable ads doesn’t markedly impact viewership. A separate study conducted by the platform in collaboration with MediaScience revealed that 50% of the impact from a TikTok ad occurs within the initial two seconds. This research also found that the first six seconds of an:

  • Captures 90% cumulative impact on Ad Recall.
  • Captures 80% cumulative impact on brand awareness.

Ad placement. Ads have a greater impact and are viewed longer when they are placed next to popular, relevant content, regardless of the platform, according to the MAGNA study. For instance, when placed alongside trending content, the same ad becomes more relevant to viewers, enhancing its effectiveness, increasing purchase intent by 9%.

What TikTok is saying. A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement:

  • “On TikTok, every view is intentional because users can skip any video they choose, including ads. Forced view also isn’t needed to create meaningful impact.”
  • “TikTok’s skippable formats perform on par with video-on-demand forced view formats across key metrics like brand favorability and purchase intent.”

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Deep dive. Read the report in full for more information.

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About the author

Nicola Agius

Nicola Agius is Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covers paid search, paid social, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company’s editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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