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FreeWheel-Share-Digital-Video-Ad-Views-by-Device-Q42014-v-Q42013-Feb2015Tablets are popular devices for video viewing and have been for some time, but OTT streaming devices such as Apple TV and Chromecast have moved ahead in digital video monetization, reveals FreeWheel in its Q4 2014 Video Monetization Report [download page]. During the quarter, OTT devices accounted for 8% of ad views for professional, rights-managed video content, up from just 2% during the year-earlier period and moving ahead of tablets (7% share) in the process.

Not too surprisingly, viewing on OTT devices tends to mirror TV viewing habits, with 91% of video ad views on the devices coming during long-form and live content. That speaks to the ongoing relevance of the TV as a form factor, as discussed in MarketingCharts’ Debrief, TV in Context: Viewing Trends, Ad Spending, and Purchase Influence.

By comparison, 54% of ad views on tablets came during long-form and live content, as did just 30% of views on desktops and laptops and 25% on smartphones. FreeWheel explains the discrepancy by noting that “computers and smartphones are used to ‘snack’ on content throughout the workday while tablets and OTT devices tend to live in the home and are ‘binge viewing’ portals.”

As a result of their heavy emphasis on long-form content, OTT devices accounted for a hefty 37% share of live viewing by device in Q4, second only to desktops and laptops (50%).

Live content itself as grown as a content monetization force, accounting for 23.2% of ad views for programmers (see methodology below for a description of “programmers”) during Q4 2014, up from 9.9% share a year earlier.

In other trends identified in the report:

  • Both video ad views (+30%) and video views (+27%) increased year-over-year in 2014 overall, with the rates of increase slightly smaller for Q4 (+25% and +22%, respectively);
  • On a year-over-year basis, ad views during long-form and live content grew by 43% in Q4, more than twice the growth rate of ad views during short- and mid-form content (+19%);
  • Sports content accounted for the vast majority (83%) of ad views during live and simulcast viewing;
  • Video ad views of Broadcast shows’ current seasons grew by 67% year-over-year, and for programmers, 94% share of ad views during Q4 came for current season shows rather than archival content;
  • Even so, digital viewers are watching on their own schedules, as 64% of programmers’ ad views came at least 8 days after air date;
  • Viewers saw 3.9 ads per mid-roll break, dipping slightly from Q3 (4) after several quarters of increases; and
  • Authenticated viewing continued its fast growth, as Q4 marked the first quarter in which a majority (56%) of long-form and live monetization derived from authenticated viewing (defined as viewing that occurs after viewers enter their MVPD subscription credentials). That 56% figure is more than 4 times the share from Q4 2013 (13%).

About the Data: The dataset used for the FreeWheel report concerns the usage and monetization of professional, rights managed video content, and is comprised of over 125 billion video views in 2014. The report is released quarterly and seeks to highlight the changing dynamics of how enterprise-class content owners and distributors are monetizing professional digital video content.

“Programmers” (referenced in the article above) includes Programmers and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) who generate the majority of their advertising revenue from linear TV services and who offer a diverse content mix on IP-based environments.

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