Connected TV Viewing Continue to Rise, And That Looks Like Good News for Advertisers

August 7, 2018

Connected TV devices have already overtaken smartphones in premium digital ad views on FreeWheel’s platform. Now it’s Extreme Reach’s turn. In its Q2 2018 video benchmarks report, Extreme Reach reveals that 38% share of impressions during the quarter were served to connected TV devices, surpassing smartphones (30%) for the first time.

These devices are making waves across the video world, as they’re adopted in more and more US homes. Advertisers have duly taken note, with recent data indicating that a majority are investing in OTT/connected TV (CTV) opportunities.

The growth of video viewing on CTV is in all likelihood a very positive development for advertisers, as they target viewers in a more passive, “lean-back” mode. There are separate results from the Extreme Reach report that offer more evidence.

This past quarter, fully 54% of impressions served on the Extreme Reach platform were 30-second ads, representing double the share from just a few quarters earlier (27% in Q3 2017). Per the analysts, “the increase in impressions served to CTV, which includes OTT, likely accounts for some of this shift as marketers aim to reach consumers in a lean-back, TV-like mode of viewing.”

If these ad views are indeed being driven by CTV, then advertisers should be excited by the completion rate on these ads. During Q2 fully 86% of 30-second ads were viewed to completion, a rate higher even than shorter-length ads (15-second ads averaged a 79% completion rate, and 6-second ads an 82% completion rate).

Again, this is likely correlated to the rise in CTV viewing. An impressive 94% of ads served to connected TV devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Firestick were viewed to completion during the quarter, outperforming the comparable rates for tablets (83%), smartphones (75%) and desktops (75%).

The industry has long been trending towards a focus on video ad completion rates as opposed to click-through rates, so these CTV completion rates, which Extreme Reach attributes to viewers being committed to the content (and unable to skip ads!) are likely contributing to advertiser excitement over CTV devices.

Meanwhile, in other results from the report, viewability rates improved again in Q2, rising to 67% overall, with viewability continuing to be higher for 30-second (79%) than 15-second (63%) ads.

The full report can be viewed here.

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