View through rate - VTR calculator - VTR meaning

What is a video View Through Rate? We'll show you how to calculate VTR

VTR calculator

What is View Through Rate (VTR)?

Video View Through Rate or VTR is a video metric that measures how effective your video ad has been at influencing users to watch part or all of your video ad - or simply put, how effective it has been at recording a video view. A VTR of 100% means every impression served resulted in every user watching part or all of your video. We say "part or all" of a video because you as the marketer running the campaign must at first define what a video view is or understand what the vendor defines as a view.

We recommend measuring VTRs for different second lengths during your campaign. For example, for a 45” asset, you could record all 30” VTRs as your primary KPI, while also recording 100% completed view VTRs (often known as VCR - Video Completion Rate).

In reporting tools of an ad-server or DSP, you will often find video views being reporting in quartiles, e.g. 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% viewed. This is another way of displaying view-through rate, but instead of time-specific VTRs, they are quartile-specific. This can be used to analyze drop-offs, thus helping you inform the creative team how to improve future videos.

VTR is a key metric to use when running any video campaign, especially branding campaigns whereby you want as many users as possible to watch as much of your video. This will ensure your activity has had a chance to communicate the entire campaign message.

VTR Formula

To calculate view through rate, you will need the following metrics:

  1. Video views

2.Impressions delivered


Ensure you understand what second-length the video view refers to. Is it video view of a full complete? Or it is only a 10” video view. Once you understand this, the VTR that the formula calculates will be in relation to that second length.

VTR in context

To help put the metric into context, it is imperative that you use VTR alongside CPV (cost per view) when judging a campaign’s success.

For example, compare the following two vendors:

Vendor A delivers a 30” VTR of 5%, driving 1,000 views for a spend of $1,000.

Vendor B delivers a 30” VTR of 55%, driving 500 views for a spend of $1,000.

If you analyze performance by just looking at VTR, you will mistakenly assume Vendor B is the most efficient, however, Vendor A has a lower CPV of $1 compared to Vendor B at $2. Having that said, if Vendor B is delivering the video to a more valuable audience or the ad is being served in a more premium environment, for example, it may be worth paying more for the view. Remember context is key when analyzing video campaign performance.

Using VTR to inform creative

If you notice users are not watching until the end of your video, you may want to consider analysing where the drop-off is occurring in the video and inform the creative agency or those responsible for production. This kind of analysis can help inform creative teams what is working and what is not, highlighting any sections that may need editing to retain user attention.

An easy way to do this is by using the quartile VTR measurement. If you see a drop in users from 50% to 75% for example, you may want to see what is happening at that point in the video and suggest an edit to improve attention and completion rate.

Difference between VTR and VCR - video completion rate

VTR is typically used to refer to the billable view point of the video or the minimum view point you are measuring the success of the campaign on. For example, if you are charged on a 30" view, and you are using 1' creative, then it is worth working out the 30" VTR.

VCR is the Video Completion Rate and is another way of writing 100% VTR. It is the percentage of impressions that resulted in a 100% completed view.

A lot vendors use VCR instead of VTR and in all honestly, it does not matter which name you use as soon as you are consistent in reporting. In Google jargon, they define VTR as the completed, non-skipped view (of 30”) divided by the number of impressions served.

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