In the space of only three months there has been a huge growth (56%) in the amount of time spent by consumers watching online video advertising, according to the Q3/2012 Media Barometer study by display marketing firm Adform. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

The company's quarterly barometer study, which measures consumer engagement with online display advertising based on 140 billion European ad impressions, found that the average 'engagement time per view' for an online video advert is now an impressive 38.6 seconds.

The study also found that online display campaigns incorporating rich media formats (such as those that integrate social, gamified, e-commerce or video elements) proved much more engaging for most consumers than standard online banner adverts. In fact, rich media ads are clicked four times as often as standard display advertising campaigns, and click-through rates for rich media campaigns grew ten times more (quarter-on-quarter) than standard banner campaigns.

The online display advertising format that European consumers engage with most is the 'Slider Rich Media Branding' unit, where advertising sweeps across the consumer's screen at their own request, usually containing video or other interactive elements. The rate of engagement was found to be 63% higher with this type of unit than the average rate for all other campaigns, right across Europe.

The study also noted that consumers in the UK will, on average, spend the third longest time (among European consumers) watching an online video advert, behind only those in Spain and Finland. But UK consumers also spend, on average, the second longest time in Europe engaging with Rich Media advertising.

According to Gustav Mellentin, CEO for Adform, "Integrating rich media formats into campaigns continues to be a key link in driving engagement, with these results pointing to its increased effectiveness. In particular, where many have predicted the high performance level of online video advertising for some time, the latest data shows that this forecast is finally coming to fruition."