Evolving Media Consumption Trends Give Marketers New Means for Ensuring High-Impact, Brand Safe Campaigns | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

Evolving Media Consumption Trends Give Marketers New Means for Ensuring High-Impact, Brand Safe Campaigns

April 25, 2019

By Melinda McLaughlin

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The growing popularity of over-the-top programming is having a transformative effect on the entire video advertising ecosystem. Over the last few years, more than 190 million households have added or switched to connected TV (CTV) to watch what they want, when they want. To keep up with this expanding segment of the population (57 percent and rising, according to eMarketer), advertisers have increased investments in Roku or Apple TV and other ad-supported streaming services. For marketers, this development opens up exciting new opportunities to connect with hard-to-reach audiences and engage them through more digital touchpoints than ever before.

These are some of the findings from our Q4 and Full-year 2018 Video Benchmark report, which reveals ad performance trends based on data from ER's platform, AdBridge, and specifically our proprietary video ad server. Metrics on viewer click-through, video ad completion and viewability rates, as well as invalid traffic and time spent with ads are included. The report also provides breakdowns based on media destination (i.e., premium publisher vs. media aggregator) and device (i.e. desktop, mobile, tablet and connected television [CTV]). Here are some of the most significant takeaways.


CTV Overtakes Mobile as Video Advertising's Growth Engine

Of all the stats in the report, this is the one that speaks most persuasively to the stunning ascension of CTV: In Q4 2017, CTV earned a mere 16 percent share of ad impressions versus mobile's 39 percent. By the end of last year, CTV's share had shot up to 44 percent — a whopping 193 percent increase — overtaking all other devices in the quantity of impressions served. The share of impressions served to desktops and tablets continued to shrink, with year-over-year declines of 36 percent and 54 percent, respectively, while mobile took second place to CTV.

Of course, none of this means advertisers should upend their marketing plan, but it certainly shows the value of including CTV in the mix. Reaching viewers in today's video everywhere world means advertisers should be marketing across all relevant platforms in accordance with campaign objectives. For example, a quick-serve restaurant might increase awareness of new menu offerings via linear and CTV commercials and then support sales by using mobile to shoot out deals and discounts during live sporting events or sessions of binge-watching when viewers might be hungriest for them.


CTV Impacts Multiple Metrics for Premium Publishers

As viewers gravitate to CTV, premium publishers are moving there too. In Q4 2018, more than half the impressions served by Extreme Reach to premium publishers ran on CTV platforms, an increase of 154 percent from the 21 percent that ran on CTV in Q4 2017. CTV is having a halo effect on other metrics important to advertisers including ad length, levels of invalid traffic, and video completion rates on premium sites.

Regarding ad length, declines in mobile and desktop consumption drove a 78 percent decrease in impressions for six-second spots from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018. At the same time, CTV adoption and 30-second ads were both posting increases, which suggests a link between the rise of CTV and a resurgence of longer ads. In our data we saw 30-second spots doubling their proportion of impressions from Q4 2017 (28 percent) to Q4 2018 (58 percent).


CTV Offers a Safe Haven

For advertisers, directly-bought CTV provides a brand safe environment that's relatively insulated from the high frequency/outlier and bot activity found in other digital channels. Video completion rates are also very high on CTV, where viewers do not have an option to skips ads. This is also an indication that CTV viewers are committed to the content they choose to watch.

With 30-second ads taking the lion's share of impressions, the average time spent with video ads has increased by 35.3 percent, from a low of 17 seconds in Q4 2017 to 23 seconds in Q4 2018.

Based on these findings, Extreme Reach projects that more major media companies will enter the competitive CTV market via new launches, partnerships and acquisitions, providing marketers even more opportunities for getting their creative everywhere their audiences may be.

Melinda McLaughlin is CMO at Extreme Reach.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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