Targeted Video Ads Jump 48% In 1st Quarter: Freewheel

Ad views delivered by Comcast’s Freewheel unit grew 20% in the first quarter, and ads based on audience targeting grew even faster.

According to Freewheels Video Marketplace Report, targeted ads grew by 48%, but still represent a small part of the total, with ads bought based on the content they’re show on outnumbering those based on audiences by 15 to 1.

Related: 40% of TV Ad Spending to Be Data-Driven By 2020: Survey

A study conducted by Freewheel and Advertiser Perceptions found that buyers expect 60% of advanced TV buys to be audience targeted by the end of 2020.

“As targeting capabilities mature, it will become possible to reach specific households within desired audience segments with a precise ad frequency exposure. This solves for some of the limitations of traditional TV, which offers broad reach but an exponentially increasing cost for each new unique viewer,” the report said.

“Precise audience targeting will also allow TV to drive value down the marketing funnel, from consideration to intent to purchase. Advertisers of large-dollar-value or ‘sticky’ products and services with higher customer-lifetime value such as the auto and financial services industries should be especially interested in these capabilities,” it said.

According to the report, ad views delivered via connected TV increased 44% and represent 45% of the total. Mobile grew 18%, while set-top box views fell 10% and desktop views dropped 16%.

Most ads appear in mid-roll breaks, and breaks in full episodes got shorter in the first quarter. Mid-roll breaks averaged 3.4 ads and 96 seconds, compared with 3.8 ads and 110 second a year ago.

Ads in those breaks were rarely interrupted, with mid-roll ads showing a 97% completion rate in full episodes and 89% in live programming. For pre-roll ads, the completion rate was 86% in full episodes and 89% in live programming.

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.