Ad Views in Premium Content Rose 35% in 2Q: FreeWheel

Views of premium video content delivered either live or on demand via set top boxes and streaming rose 31% in the second quarter compared to a year ago and ad views in that content rose by 35% compared to a year ago, according to a new report by FreeWheel, a division of Comcast.

FreeWheel’s second-quarter Video Monetization Report said that for the first time, the majority of these premium video ad views happened in living rooms. Between over-the-top devices for connecting TV to streaming video and set-top box, 57% of ad views were seen on a big screen, rather than a computer or mobile device.

“Premium video is uniquely positioned to deliver top-of-the-funnel brand benefits due to its scale and brand-safe environment, and also increasingly delivers value further down the marketing funnel via sophisticated targeting and attribution capabilities,” the report said.

The number of ads per break fell to 3.9 commercials running for 95 seconds from 4 commercials and 97 seconds.

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“Publishers are focused on creating and maintaining an optimal viewing experience, as doing so not only attracts and retains viewers but also improves the value of advertising inventory, the report said.

Ad completion rates remain high at 76% for pre-roll spots and 97% for spots appearing in mid-roll breaks.

Views of dynamically inserted ads in live programming grew 90% year over year and now account for 33% of the market.

That compares to,a 24% increase for ad in full-episode player on-demand views and 7% increase in ads viewed in short clips.

Full-episode on demand content comprises 56% of ad views and is seen as a key format in attracting and retaining viewership, the report said.. The clip format remains the most diverse, with publishers creating content across genres, in part to attract viewers to their other formats.

Programmatic transactions rose 58% year over year to 14% share of impressions.

“Programmatic transactions are growing in importance as a monetization channel for premium publishers, but must work in tandem with direct-sold deals to maximize yield and meet buyer demands while ensuring competitive separation and brand safety concerns are met,” the report said.

“Automated frequency capping makes it easier for advertisers to ensure a positive viewer experience, with only 11% of creatives repeated once or more in full-episode content.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.