Ad views in premium video increased by 24% in the third quarter of this year in comparison to last year in the U.S. This is according to a new report from FreeWheel. Video stars rose by 30% as publishers continue to make content available across more platforms, including through expanded TV making agreements with different distributors. This is according to FreeWheel’s Video Monetization Report. While ad views increased in small clips and live stream videos, the biggest increase in ad views came from full episodes with a share of 29%. Set-top box video on demand ad views grew 54% year over year, accounting for a 20% share of premium video ad views.
Meanwhile, live monetization of digital simulcasts of linear broadcasts and digital only events increased by 26%, accounting for nearly a quarter of total ad views. Ad views via OTT devices that connect to TV sets, such as Roku, rose 47% year over year. Full episodes represent 55% of the content viewed on OTT devices, compared to 37% for live programming and 8% short clips.
“In addition to delivering better experiences to viewers, premium publishers have become more sophisticated in terms of how they drive value for advertisers. More publishers now offer their inventory to advertisers through both direct and programmatic sales channels, which allows buyers to apply their data and execute campaigns with greater automation,” the report said. “In Q3, programmatic ad views grew 19% year-over-year, the strongest growth rate of any quarter in 2017. Publishers are also investing in new ways to allow advertisers to directly target audience segments.”
The ads were highly engaging. Ad completion rates for full episodes were 84% for pre-roll commercials and 98% for mid-roll. On average there were 4.1 ads per mid-roll break.
“In the face of rapid changes and increased complexity, premium video publishers continue to innovate, making it easier for consumers to watch their content and advertisers to reach their intended audiences. New players and incumbents continue to push the industry forward, continuously introducing new technology, platforms, and features. Emerging solutions that use data to improve ad relevance and customize the experience to each viewer will be critical to advancing the industry forward and retaining market share,” the report concluded.