More than 50% of video ad impressions served by Extreme Reach now on CTV

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 
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At 50%, Connected TV Hits New High of Video Ad Impressions Served by Extreme Reach

  • With New Insights on Automotive and Direct-to-Consumer Categories, Q2 Video Benchmarks Report Shows Strength of Premium Publishers for DTC Brands while Autos Lag Behind in Adoption of CTV

NEW YORK, NY — Connected TV (CTV) has established itself as a brand building essential that is clearly here to stay. It now accounts for a full 50% of all video ad impressions–twice that of mobile–according to the latest Video Benchmarks report from Extreme Reach (ER), the complete asset management solution for TV and video ads. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter that CTV has outranked mobile in the number of impressions served by device.

ER’s quarterly Video Benchmarks reports are based on data from the company’s AdBridge™ platform, and specifically its video ad server. The data is used to track emerging trends through a range of metrics, including video ad completion and viewability rates, and according to destination (i.e., premium publisher vs. media aggregator) and device (i.e., desktop, mobile, tablet and CTV). This latest version marks the addition of metrics for two advertising verticals: automotive and direct-to-consumer (DTC).

As more viewers incorporate over-the-top devices and streaming services into their media consumption habits (nearly two-thirds of the population, according to eMarketer), advertisers are following suit, attracted not just by the number of consumers viewing content on CTV, but by the performance of the ads. With an average completion rate of 95 percent, the ability to engage audiences for longer durations and the platform’s reliance on premium inventory that significantly lowers exposure to ad fraud, it’s no wonder that ad dollars allocated to CTV are on the rise. Globally, analyst firm Digital TV Research estimates CTV ad revenues will reach $129.3 billion in 2023, almost double that of 2018.

“The growing prominence of non-linear TV options is giving advertisers a wealth of new opportunities for engaging with consumers in meaningful ways, especially when you consider the new targeting technologies that enable unprecedented levels of personalization,” said James Shears, VP of Advanced Advertising for Extreme Reach. “It’s important for marketers to broaden their focus and take advantage of the fragmentation while finding those devices that work best for their brands.”

“We are excited to be able to offer additional insights on ad performance that can help brands and agencies navigate a constantly changing media landscape,” said Mary Vestewig, Senior Director, Video Account Management for Extreme Reach. “Advertisers have more avenues for using video to captivate consumers than ever before. But they face more complexity in getting their creative out there. Our aim is always to help simplify that process with the technology, data and insight that have measurable impacts on campaign effectiveness.”

Top-line findings include:

Impressions by Device

  • CTV has ascended to a key player in terms of impressions served by device, reaching 50% in Q2, up 31% from the previous year. The gain comes at the expense of impressions served to tablets and desktop; a reflection of how and where today’s viewers are consuming content.
  • But in the Auto vertical, the percent of impressions served to CTV decreased in Q2 by 29%, landing at 45%. While still strong, Autos are exhibiting a slower pace of CTV adoption than the broader group of advertisers as a whole. In that same period, mobile impressions nearly doubled and desktop impressions also rose.

In Premium We Trust–Most of the Time

  • In Q2 2019, premium publishers accounted for 83% of overall impressions vs. 17% for media aggregators. This speaks both to CTV’s ascending position in the digital landscape and, notably, the trust most advertisers place in premium.
  • DTC brands show a distinct preference for premium publishers. Impressions for DTC video ads in Q2 were served nearly entirely (99.8%) to premium sites. This rate is about 20% higher than the broader group of advertisers, which makes sense given that DTC companies are all about performance.
  • In contrast, Auto advertisers in Q2 made a shift toward media aggregators with a 51% quarter-over-quarter increase in impressions served to those sites. The percent of impressions served to premium publishers declined by 27% in that period.
  • This could signal an aggregator renaissance as CTV inventory grows: To date, CTV inventory has been almost exclusively sold by premium publishers directly to agencies and advertisers, however such deviations for the Auto sector might suggest that as CTV inventory increases, the law of supply and demand could cause greater availability of CTV via programmatic exchanges.

The Long and Short of It–Does Length Really Matter?

  • ER’s data shows that 30-second ads continued to dominate in Q2 despite a 7% drop from Q1 that put the category at 64%. In the same Q1 to Q2 period, 15-second ads saw a significant 20% rise in impressions. The year-over-year figures were notably different, however, with 15-second ads decreasing by 24% and 30-second spots increasing by 19%. 6-second ads saw a slight decline (7%) YoY and a nearly 60% rise for Q2.
  • In Q1 2019, the proportion of 15- and 30-second ads for the Auto sector was quite similar to the average of the larger group. 30-second spots account for 66% of impressions and 15-second ads represent 34%. In Q2, however, the proportion of 30-second ads for auto increased significantly to 83%, whereas the average for the broader group fell slightly to 64%.
  • For DTC, 95% of video ads were 30-seconds in Q2 2019, substantially higher than the 64% for the broader group. This is not surprising given the category’s investment in building deeper engagement directly with customers.
  • The takeaway here is that there is no “ideal” ad length and that quarter-by-quarter and year-over-year variations reflect advertisers’ deepening understanding that ad lengths need to be determined by purpose, vertical, audience, format and device rather than the trend du jour.

Additional metrics on GIVT, viewability, small player, and in-banner video rates are detailed, as always, in the full report.

More: Video Benchmarks 2019 Q2

Links: Extreme Reach