View through rate (VTR)

View through rate (VTR)

The view-through rate (VTR) represents what percent of viewers see the whole video ad to the end. This helps marketers know if their ad is working well and track their ad’s effectiveness and improve advertisement effectiveness.

What is View Through Rate (VTR)?

View Through Rate (VTR) is a way to see how good video ads are, like those on YouTube or Hulu. It checks what part of people watch the ad from the beginning to the end.

Usually, when we look at how well a video ad does, we see how many people saw it or how many times it was shown.

Typical performance tracking metrics for video ads include views and impressions (or the number of people exposed to the video). But these KPIs/numbers don’t show how much of your ad people are watching or if they actually reached the end and saw your call-to-action (CTA).

But these numbers don’t tell us if people watched the whole ad or saw the important message at the end. To understand if a video ad works well, we need to look at the VTR. It tells us how many people watched the whole ad compared to how many people saw it start (divides how many viewers watched the entire video ad by the total number of impressions).

The percentage we get from VTR helps us know if an ad is working, where people stop watching, and how to make better ads.

How does VTR work?

VTR is mainly for ads that people can choose to skip.

Ads that you can’t skip usually have a VTR close to 100% because people have to watch them to get to their videos. The VTR might be lower if people stop watching the main video. But even then, the VTR looks high. You can still check VTR on these ads, but it doesn’t really tell you if the ad worked as it does with skippable ads.

If your ad is one people can skip, VTR helps you understand what they think at first. For instance, if the VTR is low, maybe the video didn’t grab their attention enough to watch all of it.

But, VTR doesn’t always tell you everything. If someone clicks on your site before the ad ends, it won’t count in the VTR, even though the ad worked.

To get a better idea of how your ad is doing, you can check the VTR at different parts, like 25%, 50%, and 75% of the ad. This shows you when people usually skip the ad.

If most people leave before the end when you ask them to do something (the CTA), you might need to make the ad more interesting or put the CTA earlier.

This tracking works because of a special code in the ad’s video player that sees how much of the ad someone watches. You can also use other codes called “cookies” to see what people do after the ad, like if they go to your website.

VTR (View Through Rate) formula

To figure out the VTR, you use this simple math:

VTR = (Number of times the whole ad is watched / Total number of times the ad is shown) x 100

Imagine your video ad is shown to 1,000 people on places like YouTube or social media. If only 10 of those people watch your ad from start to finish, then you have 10 complete views out of 1,000 times your ad was seen. To find the VTR, you put these numbers into the formula like this:

VTR = (10)/(1000) x 100 VTR = 0.01 x 100 VTR = 1%

So, the VTR is 1%, meaning 1% of the people who saw the ad watched it all the way through.

Understanding benchmarks: Improving your VTR

Is a higher VTR always better for your video ad? Not really. Usually, a VTR of 15% is seen as good, but not every ad needs to reach this.

Think about what your video ad’s goal is and what you’re advertising. Sometimes, even a low VTR is okay. Like, if your ad is for something expensive, just a few sales can cover the cost of making the ad.

Before you try to make your VTR better, think about these things that can change it:

  • Where your ad shows up (like which websites or social media)
  • The age, gender, and interests of the people you want to watch your ad
  • What do your video’s title and picture look like
  • The style, feel, and topic of your video
  • How long your video is

Improving your VTR

To make your VTR better, first think about where your ad is shown. If it’s low, maybe the people watching the video don’t connect with your ad. You can look into who your ad should be for and then show it to people who might like it more.

Also, if your video is longer than two minutes, people might not watch the whole thing. They could get bored or distracted. Short videos, like under a minute or even 30 seconds, often work better.

You have about eight seconds to grab someone’s attention with your ad. If nothing interesting happens in those first eight seconds, people might stop watching.

The start of your video needs to be good and clear. If it’s poor quality or takes too long to load, people might not stick around to watch, which could make your VTR go down.

What’s the difference between VTR and VCR?

The Video Completion Rate (VCR) shows the percentage of people who watch a video all the way to the end or up to a certain point.

VTR and VCR are about the same thing: how many people watch a video till the end? You can use either term. But, to keep things clear, it’s best to pick either VTR or VCR and use that term consistently when you’re talking about how many people watch your video completely.

What’s the difference between VTR and CTR?

Click-through rate (CTR) is about how many people click on something like an ad or a link compared to everyone who saw it.

VTR tells you how many people watch a whole video, but it doesn’t say what they do after watching. CTR, on the other hand, tells you how many people go to your website or a special page after watching the video.

Since VTR and CTR look at different things, you can use them together to see how well your video ad works overall. For example, if not many people watch the whole video (low VTR) but a lot of people click on your website (high CTR), your ad is doing well. But if lots of people watch the whole video (high VTR) and not many click-throughs (low CTR), then the video might not be that good at getting people to buy something.


  • View-through rate (VTR) is about figuring out how many people watch a whole video ad. You find it by dividing the number of people who watch the whole thing by the number of people who saw the video. Then, you multiply that by 100 to get a percentage.
  • There’s a special code in the video that helps businesses see how many people watch the video and when they stop watching.
  • A good VTR can change depending on a few things like how long the video is, where it’s shown, and the style and feel of the video.
  • You can use VTR and VCR in the same way to see if a video ad is effective, based on how many people watch it all.
  • VTR and CTR are both ways to check how well a video ad works. But, CTR is about how many people go to your website or a special page after watching the ad.

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