All About Timing: How CTV Ad Lengths Grab Attention

Choosing the Right CTV Ad Lengths

In today’s increasingly fast-paced world, customers are constantly surrounded by content. Each second of attention is hard-won, so it’s critical that advertisers choose opportunities that provide the most impact for every ad dollar. Longer  TV ads have typically been seen as providing the best opportunity to win viewer attention and get the advertisers' message across.  But as more marketers shift budgets to CTV, do CTV ads deliver value in proportion to their lengths?

TVision's new report, How CTV Ad Lengths Grab Attention provides advertisers with a simple framework for choosing the best ad length for their targeted CTV campaigns. Here are just a few insights from the report where you can download here.

Longer CTV Ads ≠ Larger Audiences

Traditionally, longer ads have given marketers a greater opportunity to reach their audience. Our data show that CTV has quickly broken tradition and leveled the playing field. Here's a look at how attention varies by ad length within CTV: 

CTV Ad Length Attention

Overall, around a third of viewers paid attention to short, medium, and long CTV ads (:15, :30, and :60-seconds, respectively) with :15-seconds ads falling just slightly short of their two longer counterparts. This suggests the opportunity to engage CTV viewers is roughly equal across ad lengths. Just because a :60-second ad is on the screen for longer, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to capture attention from a larger audience.

If you're curious, here is how we define Attention. TVision reports Attention by measuring the amount of time that viewers were engaged with the ads, with their eyes on the TV screen. Attention metrics require the viewer to have had their eyes on the screen for two or more seconds.

Ad Length Performance Varies By App

All ad lengths have the potential to effectively grab attention, but exactly how well they keep viewers’ attention may vary. Here are some highlights for apps that delivered the biggest opportunity to reach viewers based on time spent paying attention, according to TVision data:

15-Second Ads:

Xfinity Stream, Sling TV, and YouTube TV—all dMVPDs—captured the most attentive seconds.

Percent Total Ad Captured Attention_15

30-Second Ads:

Xfinity Stream also topped the list along with CBS All Access (now Paramount+) and YouTube TV.Percent Total Ad Captured Attention_30

60-Second Ads:

Longer ads saw a slightly different list of apps winning attentive seconds with Philo, Peacock, and YouTube leading the way.

Percent Total Ad Captured Attention_60

While the longer ads generally deliver more total attention time, on average, the attention time is not proportional to their longer ad lengths. Take YouTube as an example, which captures meaningful attention across all three ad formats. Viewers on YouTube technically spent more attentive seconds watching longer ads, but when factoring in each ad’s total run time, they watched half of the :15-second ads, a third of the :30 spots, and only a fourth of the :60-second ads. Assuming every second of ad time is priced equally, :15-second ads may deliver better ROI within CTV.

Marketer Tip: Calculate Your aCPM

Want to find your true cost of attention how it compares across different ad lengths and media? Instantly compare attentive CPM by media using our free Attention Calculator tool.

Want more CTV insights?

For more details and additional insights on CTV ad lengths, download your copy of the full report here. And don’t miss TVision’s CTV Advertising Report for must-know insights to engage this connected audience.


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