Connected TV Share of Digital Video Ads Drops in Q1

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A funny thing happened to connected TV during an unprecedented first quarter.

According to a new report from Extreme Reach, connected TV impressions were flat and their share among all digital video advertising fell to 37%, down 21% from their fourth quarter levels.

Connected TV impressions had been growing at a rapid rate, but during the quarter, with people at home, more people were watching on desktops as they worked at home.

Desktop video had been losing share for three years, but jumped 44% in the quarter. Mobile (32% share) and tablet devices (5% share) also gained in the quarter.

Because of the unexpected drop, Extreme Reach looked at the monthly shares for CTV. In December, CTV had a 48% share. It declined to 41% in January and 35% in February before bouncing back up to 36% in March.

“We knew that Q1 2020 might show some anomalies as the COVID crisis turned usual media consumption trends on their head. And that definitely played out relative to the share of impressions going to different devices,” said Melinda McLaughlin, CMO at Extreme Reach.

“We don’t think it’s a stretch to posit that our observation of impression destination shifts reflects the unprecedented stay-at-home environment where suddenly people are living a very different life -- cohabitating with others, finding different corners of their homes to personally consume media and working on personal computers all day, making it easy to take breaks and consume content on that same hardware,” McLaughlin said.

Extreme Reach also said that while premium publishers still account for the lion’s share of impression, aggregators gained share in the first quarter, rising to 22% from 29% in 4Q.

The report also said that 30-second commercials accounted for 77% of all digital video ads, up 11% to a record high. The decline in 15-second spots indicated that advertisers thought that longer ads were a better fit as consumers watched more long-form content.

Extreme Reach's Q1 2020 Video Benchmark Report is based on the aggregate performance metrics from AdBridge, which tracks campaigns for a diverse set of brands across multiple categories. 

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.