SOURCE: Unicast

Unicast

February 17, 2011 08:00 ET

In-Stream Video and Instant Messenger Ads Drive Highest Interaction and Engagement Time Among Consumers Online

Unicast's Q4 2010 US Analytics Benchmark Report Reveals Home Improvement Interactive Ads Outperformed All Other Industries Due to Rise in Housing Market; Retail and Shipping Also Solid After Strong Holiday Sales

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - February 17, 2011) - Unicast (www.unicast.com), a leader in online interactive rich media and video advertising solutions, today announced the results of its Q4 2010 US Analytics Benchmark Report, which provides a performance analysis of the 12 most popular ad formats across 24 vertical industries. For the fourth straight quarter, video-related formats topped the performance list for interaction rate, with videos that included menu bars featuring expanded options performing best.

This isn't surprising considering the fact that online video is the fastest-growing ad format in digital advertising. According to ComScore, the number of online video viewers across the U.S. in December alone was 172 million with an average of 14.6 hours per viewer. An impressive 5.2 billion viewing sessions were logged during the course of the month and 84.6 percent watched videos with ads, helping to drive the healthy growth of online video ad spend.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding high-quality online content with on-demand access and advertisers are starting to recognize that handing over control leads to expanded reach and greater cost efficiencies," said Dan Berra, vice president of business intelligence for Unicast. "The market opportunity of online video is extensive and we haven't even begun to tap into its full potential."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • For the first time in 2010, the home improvement category emerged as the top interactive ad performer. This was fueled by a rise in consumer sentiment, disposable incomes and housing markets in Q4. According to IBISWorld, the value of homeowner improvements was on track to top $177.6 billion in 2010, largely in part to boomers renovating homes to be fully functional and accessible as they ease into retirement as well as an increase in Gen Y home purchases, many of which include renovations for energy efficiencies.

  • Following home improvement, the transportation/shipping and retail verticals led the pack for performance and used IM formats to produce the longest average interaction times of 88 and 66 seconds, respectively. The shipping and retail markets were driven by a strong holiday season that started before Thanksgiving paired with aggressive retail holiday promotions. According to Bloomberg, retailers' 2010 holiday sales jumped 5.5 percent for the best performance in five years.

  • In-stream branded canvas ad formats, which are custom interactive units positioned within full-episode video players, continued to produce the highest interaction rates and the highest average video view time.

  • For the second straight quarter, Unicast messenger units ranked highest in average engagement time at 104 seconds. As IM continues to evolve beyond basic chat to include features such as voice, video, and social media, this market is projected to grow at an increasingly fast pace. According to IDC, the smartphone market is expected to increase 24.5 percent in 2011, which will lead to more opportunities with mobile IM.

  • Campaigns with the highest interaction rates included trivia games, co-branded content, and creative activities like "painting" the page to keep users engaged for longer periods of time.

The full Unicast Q4 2010 US Analytics Benchmark Report is available here: http://www.unicast.com/Pdfs/Q4_2010_Benchmark_Report.aspx

About Unicast:
Unicast has been providing state-of-the-art rich media solutions for publishers, agencies and advertisers since 1998. Integrating creative support with campaign management and detailed analytics, Unicast technologies empower customers to manage the complex process of deploying online advertising campaigns. Unicast is a proud member of the DG (NASDAQ: DGIT) family of companies -- a multichannel distribution network of thousands of advertisers and media publishers worldwide. Today, our solutions are leveraged globally by some of the world's most esteemed brands, including AOL, Fox Interactive Media, MSN, MindShare, NBC Universal, ABC, CBS, and Initiative Media.

For more information visit www.unicast.com

Follow us at www.facebook.com/unicast and www.twitter.com/unicast, and check out our blog at http://unicast.com/blog/.

About DG:
DG provides innovative technology-based solutions to the advertising, broadcast and publishing industries. The company serves more than 5,000 advertisers and agencies through a media distribution network of more than 28,000 radio, television, print and Web publishing destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. DG utilizes satellite and internet transmission technologies, creative and production resources, digital asset management and syndication services that enable advertisers and agencies to work faster, smarter and more competitively. Through its Unicast, SourceEcreative, Treehouse and Springbox operating units, DG extends its benchmark of excellence to a wide roster of services ranging from custom rich media solutions and interactive marketing to direct response marketing and global creative intelligence. For more information, visit www.DGit.com.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Katie Gerber
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    Unicast Contact
    Ellen Durbin
    Senior Marketing Manager
    Unicast
    P: 512-354-3154
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