COVID-19 effect on video ad performance and media consumption continued in Q2

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 
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Impact of COVID-19 on Video Advertising Performance and Media Consumption Extended into Q2 2020, Shows Report from Extreme Reach

  • Latest video benchmarks show share of impressions on mobile, desktop remain strong, suggesting multi-occupant households continue to split viewing across devices.

NEW YORK, NY — As the pandemic continues, so does its impact on the video advertising ecosystem, shows the latest Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach (ER), the complete asset management solution for TV and video ads. Following a distinct drop in Q1, the share of video impressions served to connected TV (CTV) platforms rose to 40 percent in Q2, according to aggregate metrics from ER’s AdBridge™ platform. This increase brings the proportion of impressions closer to the range observed throughout 2019.

Other findings in the Q2 report, which reflects video advertising performance metrics for April through June, include:

  • Media aggregators rise: In addition to indicating how media consumption trends have shifted during Covid, the Q2 metrics point to changes in media buying patterns that result from those trends. The percent of impressions served through premium publishers fell to 65 percent, its lowest point since Q3 2018. Inversely, the share of impressions served via media aggregators increased from 22 percent in Q1 to 35 percent in Q2, a rise of 59 percent. This suggests that as some advertisers reduced marketing budgets in response to the softened economy, more of the inventory that was previously available only through premium vendors became available on exchanges.
  • 30-second ads solidify dominance with 79 percent share of impressions: While ads of this duration came to prominence with the rise in CTV viewing, their proportion continued to grow for the fourth consecutive quarter, despite the decline seen in the percentage share of impressions served to CTV. Extreme Reach did note a slight decrease in completion rates for ads of this duration, which can be attributed to the increase in viewing on platforms that enable viewers to skip ads.
  • Mobile in-app ads saw higher impressions, better completion rates than ads on mobile web: The Q2 2020 report marks a shift in the way Extreme Reach captures Mobile metrics. Impressions served to mobile in-app are now reported separately from impressions served to mobile web. Impressions served to Tablets are now included in either mobile in-app or mobile web.

The data shows that 26 percent of video ad impressions by device were served in-app, while 12 percent were served to mobile web. Though trends cannot be determined without a comparison to previous quarters, the completion rate of ads in-app is notably higher, at 79 percent, than the rate of 64 percent on mobile web. This may be connected to the increase in viewers accessing ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) platforms on mobile devices as multiple-occupancy households continue to split viewing across screens.

  • Rising click-through rates (CTR) raise the possibility of a new trend: CTR for video ads tends to be a small percentage, but has typically been higher than display. As CTV and 30-second ads came to prominence and the CTR rate saw steady declines, ER posited that the decrease would continue because completion had largely become the priority. However, in Q2 2020, ER notes that overall, CTR increased 39 percent year over year to .29 percent. This may be connected to an increase in direct response ads, also known as shoppable ads, that are commonly used by direct to consumer (DTC) brands as they continue to explore the effectiveness of different digital platforms.

“While the extent of the long-term effect that COVID-19 will have on the media and advertising ecosystems cannot yet be fully understood, the fact the pandemic continues to drive volatility is unquestionable,” said Mary Vestewig, ER’s Senior Director, Video Account Management. “Shifts in viewing habits are certainly impacting how consumers are interacting with both content and ads across devices. As schools begin to reopen and online activities across all generations respond, we’ll be closely monitoring trends in our data.”

Extreme Reach’s Q2 2020 Video Benchmark Report is based on the aggregate performance metrics from AdBridge™, which tracks campaigns for a diverse set of brands across multiple categories. The full report, which provides an industry-wide snapshot and identifies trends across performance metrics such as video ad completion and general invalid traffic rates as well as breakdowns by media destination (premium publisher vs. media aggregator) and device (desktop, mobile, mobile app, tablet, and CTV), is available for download here.

Links: Extreme Reach