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OTT Offers One Big Ad-Vantage

Video Viewing on mobile devices continues to surge, but there’s a clear advertising advantage for shows that are streamed to TV-connected over-the-top devices, according to a new study from FreeWheel, the Comcast-owned ad-tech company.

Viewers that use OTT devices (a category that includes streaming players and sticks, smart TVs and gaming consoles) are among the most highly engaged; in fact, they complete 98% of all video ads, while more than one-third of them spend an hour or more per network when they stream, the study found.

Ad-completion rates on other connected platforms aren’t too shabby, either, including tablet (91%), smartphone (86%) and desktop/PC (84%).

FreeWheel also found that 69% of OTT ad views also come from authenticated viewers — those that are pay TV subscribers who are using their credentials to log in.

FreeWheel observed that when viewers watch a clip or a live stream on an OTT device, “they are actively seeking out a specific series or network and tend to watch it all: both content and commercials.”

FreeWheel also pointed out that many ad agencies often require the same standards for OTT as for desktop video, even though the user experience is inherently different. Though video on OTT devices takes up the full screen, most devices don’t allow multitasking, “making it all but impossible for an ad to not be fully viewable.”

Per the study, 84% of ad views came by way of attached devices (those paired to a TV to stream digital content, such as an Apple TV box or Roku player), 11% from gaming consoles and 5% from smart TVs.

FreeWheel also broke down ad-view share by content format and device group, finding that full episodes have a big advantage over clips and live TV. FreeWheel based the study on a selected sample of U.S.

FreeWheel clients representing more than 95% of OTT-driven digital ad impressions in the company’s research data set, which it also uses for its quarterly Video Monetization Report.