September 28, 2019

New FreeWheel Research Finds That Partnerships and Interoperability Are Driving the Growth of Audience Targeted Campaigns


Audience targeted ad views grew 82%, fueled by an industry trend and movement toward interoperability, which, in turn, are driving the scale, sophistication, simplicity – and growth – of premium video.

NEW YORK — FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, announced the release of its Q2 Video Marketplace Report (VMR). This quarterly publication analyzes the changing dynamics of how advertisers, publishers and distributors are utilizing ad supported premium video.

One of the major themes of this quarter’s report is the role that industry partnerships and increased interoperability are playing in driving the scale, sophistication, simplicity and growth of premium video for both buyers and sellers.

In the U.S., for instance, companies across the premium video ecosystem worked to advance television’s data enabled future and accelerate scale through consortiums like Project OAR, which is creating standards for addressable advertising on connected TVs. This was supplemented by initiatives such as the Comcast Advertising led “On Addressability,” which was announced at Cannes Lions 2019 and aims to establish the technical framework to deliver greater addressability to the TV industry. To drive simplicity in accessing premium video, industry groups such as OpenAP are enabling the increased demand for audience buys by creating standardized segments to make this process easier.

These three trends and focal areas were also evident internationally. Agreements such as the one between RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 offered advertisers broader reach and the ability to target audiences across TV and digital. To help simplify the complicated programmatic ecosystem, AdForum launched its Trusted Partners Program, which includes participants such as FreeWheel, IAS and SAP, this past June.

“The value of premium video is now well established and the industry is focused on finding ways to drive scale, sophistication and simplicity by connecting together multiple exiting platforms. With this focus, we expect audience targeted campaigns, which increased 82% this quarter, almost four-times as fast as the industry, to continue to grow at pace,” said David Dworin, who heads FreeWheel’s Advisory Services Team and was one of the lead authors of this report.

Key takeaways and insights for both the U.S. and international markets can be found below.

To download the full report, click here.

FreeWheel Q2 VMR – Key Takeaways (U.S.):

  • For Q2 2019, ad completion rates on full-episode and live content in the U.S. remained extremely high, between 87% and 98% for both pre-roll and mid-roll, showcasing the value of premium video to advertisers.
  • Video ad views grew 27% year-over-year, driven in large part by connected TV (up 48%).
    • Live content ad views were up 44%.
    • Full episode and clip ad views saw significant growth, 19% and 9% respectively.
    • Ad views in mobile (+3%), STB VOD (+3%) and desktop (-2%) remained relatively stable.
  • Audience targeted ad views grew 82% and the growth is expected to continue.
    • Although it’s coming from a small base, 7% of all ad views, the very large growth is an indication of advertisers’ demand for data-backed targeting solutions.
    • Furthermore, behavioral targeting (e.g., auto intenders, sports enthusiasts, etc.) constitutes most of audience targeted ads (62% share), showcasing advertisers’ appetite for more than just simple demographic targeting.
    • Auto industry advertisers significantly index higher on audience targeted ads driven by the value of targeting vehicle intender groups to drive conversions.
  • Viewers are increasingly consuming premium video on distributor platforms and ad views grew 46%, mainly driven by growth on digital/IP enabled platforms (up 64%).
    • Meanwhile, publisher-owned and operated platforms as well as set-top-box ad inventory that allows dynamic ad insertion remained relatively flat, up 2% and 3% respectively.
  • Ad views coming from direct deals continue to comprise the majority of ad view share at 81%.
    • However, programmatic deals grew faster, at 45% vs. 23%.
    • Open exchange transactions are still a small part of programmatic deals (13% share) suggesting that buyers and sellers are not yet ready to give up on the direct relationship even when it’s executed through automated channels.

FreeWheel Q2 VMR – Key Takeaways (International):

  • For Q2 2019, ad completion rates in the EU on premium video remain high, between 80% to 96% across content formats for both pre-roll and mid-roll, showcasing the value of premium video to advertisers.
  • Video ad views grew 24% year-over-year driven in large by set-top-box VOD (up 51%).
    • Live content ad views were up 32%.
    • Full episode and clip ad views saw significant growth as well, up 24% and 21% respectively.
    • On the device front, ad views in mobile, desktop and connected TV also saw growth, up 28%, 23% and 32%, respectively.
  • Audience targeted ad views grew 31% and the growth is expected to continue.
    • Furthermore, behavioral targeting (e.g., auto intenders, sports enthusiasts etc.) constitutes most of audience targeted ads (60% share) showcasing advertisers’ appetite for more than just simple demographic targeting.
  • Viewers continue to consume premium video primarily through distributor platforms (83% share).
  • Ad views coming from direct deals continue to comprise the majority of ad view share, at 83%.
    • However, programmatic deals grew slightly faster at 35% vs. 28%, mostly comprised of direct programmatic deals.
    • Exchange transactions are still a small part of programmatic deals (only 2% share) suggesting that buyers and sellers are not yet ready to give up on the direct relationship even when it’s executed through automated channels.

About FreeWheel

FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, empowers all segments of The New TV Ecosystem. We are structured to provide the full breadth of solutions the advertising industry needs to achieve their goals. We provide the technology, data enablement and convergent marketplaces required to ensure buyers and sellers can transact across all screens, across all data types and all sales channels, in order to ensure the ultimate goal – results for marketers.

With offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Paris, Beijing and across the globe, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company, stands to advocate for the entire industry through the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. For more information, please visit www.freewheel.tv, and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.




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