Connected TV Bringing New Life to 30-Second Spots

Connected TV, over-the-top and streaming--all the new ways of watching TV--are helping the old-fashioned 30-second commercial make a comeback.

According to the third-quarter Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach, 30 second spots served via Extreme Reach's AdBridge represented 66% of all commercials served, up from 55% in the third quarter a year ago.

So far this year, :30s account for 67% of ads, up from 54% all of last year and 33% in 2017.

“Brands need all shapes and sizes of ad formats to truly navigate the consumer media landscape today. And while that portfolio will surely include experimentation in the super short category (:06 ads for example), we saw a move back to more :30s in 2018 and 2019 after a move to go shorter in years prior,” the report said. “Perhaps short stories can become too short to be effective and a mix is what’s needed to affect consumer behavior today.”

Overwhelmingly advertisers want those commercials to run adjacent to premium content, as opposed to random content distributed by aggregators. So far in 2019 the ratio is 81% premium to 19% aggregators.

Advertisers like their ads on big screens. The share of digital video ads on AdBridge--an asset management system for TV and video ad creative-- running on connected TVs was 51% in the third quarter. Last year, their share was 38%. The steady performance of CTV ads so far this year “leads us to believe this is a true, predictable trend and not another shiny object phenomenon,” the report said.

Extreme Reach said that digital ads mainly viewed to completion. It found a 91% completion rate for ads run in premium programming--that is binge-worthy, full-episode content--and a still high 81% completion rate with aggregated content.

“It’s interesting to see just how much has changed in the past year, and it’s all been driven by consumers’ embrace of CTV as a new and better viewing experience,” said Mary Vestewig, senior director, video account management at Extreme Reach. “As we head into 2020, we don’t expect to see major swings in our metrics. But as more AVOD players emerge and the streaming wars heat up, it’s best for brands and their agencies to remain nimble in the ever-changing video advertising ecosystem.”

The completion rate for 30-second spots--89% in the third quarter-remained higher than for 15 second spots and those six-second spots one used to hear so much about.

The percent of impressions filtered from gross counts--or invalid traffic--was down from a year ago to 1.33% from 3.77% a year ago. In premium content invalid traffic dropped to 1.14%.

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.