TV Everywhere Ad Views Jump 591% in Q4: FreeWheel

Driven by “must-watch” live streaming and the need for consumers to catch-up on TV series, authenticated, TV Everywhere ad viewing soared 591% in the fourth quarter of 2015 versus the year-ago quarter, FreeWheel found in its latest report.

FreeWheel, the advertising technology company acquired by Comcast last year, said in the report – Video Monetization Report Q4 2014  – that authenticated viewing also accounted for about 56% of long-form and live content monetization. 

The report enters view as MVPDs, programmers and organizations such as CTAM push programs designed to boost awareness and adoption of TVE services. The new data also comes along as there’s increased pressure for MVPDs to make TVE successful. Last week, for example, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav warned that the programmer would be forced to go direct to consumers using OTT if operators don’t get their acts together with respect to TVE.

According to FreeWheel, the fourth quarter of 2014 was the first period in which more than half of long-form and live monetization came from authenticated viewing (defined as viewing that occurs after a viewer enters his or her MVPD credentials).

Among other findings, the report said long-form ad completion rates are at 92% “as viewers are more committed to the content and tolerant of mid-roll ads.” In the fourth quarter, FreeWheel also saw a 43% increase in video ad views on long-form content (20 minutes or more) amid a shift of viewing to digital devices in and out of the home. Long-form content also accounted for 52% of programmer ad views in Q4 2014.

Most monetization in Q4 came way of a show’s current season (94%) compared to archival content (6%), versus 86% and 14%, respectively, in the Q3 2014. Additionally, 28% of viewing occured within three days of a show’s linear air date, while 64% occured after a week.

The ad tech vendor said 23% of programmer ad views were of live content, with the bulk of them (83%) coming from sports, versus 12% for news, 2% for comedy/variety shows and 3% from scripted dramas.

On the on-demand end, ad share was more evenly distributed: documentary/reality (25%), news and music/trailers (19% each), sports (15%), scripted dramas (10%) and comedy/variety (9%).

FreeWheel’s report also peered into device usage, finding that 30% of monetization in Q4 came outside of desktops and laptops. Usage on smartphones and OTT streaming devices (Roku, Apple TV, Chormecast, Amazon Fire and gaming consoles, etc.) grew 70% and 236%, respectively, in Q4. Of that group, OTT devices combined to account for a larger share of monetization than tablets, the report found.

FreeWheel said it based its reports on data from more than 125 billion video views in 2014 from programmers and MVPDs.