Premium video solidifies its position in the European marketplace

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
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FreeWheel report reveals continued convergence of linear and digital

  • Premium video ad views up 22% across year, driven by live content and the growth of connected TV

LONDON, UK — FreeWheel, a Comcast company and the industry’s most complete advertising management solution, has today announced the launch of its Q4 2018 Video Marketplace Report (previously the Video Monetisation Report), which shows the line between linear and digital TV is increasingly disappearing, as the TV and premium video landscape evolves.

In Europe, confidence in premium video continues to grow, with overall ad views in 2018 ending up 22% higher from 2017. However, video views decreased by 16% over the same period as a result of GDPR implementation and content delivery restrictions by US publishers.

Data from the new VMR – revamped to increase its focus on consumer and buy-side trends – revealed a number of key themes across Europe:

  • Publishers are continuing to increase monetisation of live inventory, with live ad views more than doubling year-on-year. Sport is a particular driving force for live viewing in Europe, accounting for more than half (55%) of total ad views
  • Connected TV has demonstrated a clear strength with above market growth, accounting for 40% of all ad views – showing an increase of 29% year-on-year
  • Viewing trends in premium video mirror those of linear, however, ad views peak at 10pm, which is later than the ‘primetime’ for traditional TV. As 85% of all ad views in premium video are video on demand (VOD), this suggests that these ad views are incremental to linear TV.

Thomas Bremond, General Manager, International, FreeWheel and Comcast Technology Solutions, commented: “Premium video is solidifying its position in the marketplace and is opening up new opportunities for marketers. It has been an interesting year, following the implementation of GDPR and the effect it has had on publishers. Nonetheless, this increased focus on transparency and brand-safety enables advertisers to offer high-quality, premium content that engages the user and improves the viewer experience.”

Other findings from the new-look report included:

  • Syndication continues to be used as a tool to shore up audiences and maximise reach, with syndicated ad views increasing 25% year-on-year and 20% market share for Q4
  • FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) is the largest category within premium video, with 29% of all ad views
  • With an increase of 17% year-on-year, programmatic grew faster than direct sold, up 13% in the same period as last year

The report concluded that ‘watching TV’ was now more about content than device, and could mean tuning into linear TV, engaging with content on a connected TV or streaming live events via mobile.

The FreeWheel Video Marketplace Report is released quarterly and highlights the changing dynamics of how enterprise-class content owners and distributors are monetising premium digital video content. The data set used for this report is one of the largest available on the usage and monetisation of professional, rights-managed video content worldwide, and is based on census-level advertising data collected through the FreeWheel platform.