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FreeWheel Digital Video Ad Breakdown by Device in H1 Nov2020Nearly 8 in 10 (77%) CTV ads were live in H1 2020, compared to 30% of desktop ads, reports Freewheel in a recent study [download page] on the US video marketplace. Focused on H1 2020, the study notes key viewing behaviors, particularly since the pandemic.

The study found that nearly three-quarters of premium digital video ads were viewed on a TV screen in H1, be they via connected TV (50%) or set-top box (23%), with CTV ad views up 42% year-over-year (y-o-y). By comparison, mobile ad views accounted for 15% share of views (with total views up 17% y-o-y), and desktops 11% share (with total views down 2% y-o-y).

The format of ads viewed varied across devices in H1, with the majority of ads viewed on CTV being live (77%), followed by long-form (5+ min.; 18%) and clips (0-5 min.; 5%). Clips were the dominant format of desktop ad views (50%), followed by live (30%) and long-form (20%). Mobile ad views saw a more even split between formats – the largest share were live (40%), while an equal share were clips (30%) and long-form (30%).

Whether it was ad views or video views, screen time was up in H1 as a result of the global pandemic and the need to stay at home – the former rose 32% y-o-y and the latter 17%.

Viewing habits and patterns also changed alongside people’s daily schedules. Analyzing the week of March 16 versus the previous week, the study found that viewing before 6PM grew the most (+14%), with growth also seen in the late afternoon (+12%), before noon (+9%) and at primetime (+9%).

The impact of the pandemic on viewing habits in H1 was also seen genre-by-genre, with entertainment viewing sharply declining in March and being replaced by a concurrent spike in news viewing. However, over the ongoing quarantine period entertainment viewing rose once again as viewers attempted to fill their days. And, a sharp dip in sports viewing in April corresponded with sports leagues canceling live sports.

Breaking down mid-roll ads, which saw a completion rate of 99% in H1, the study found the average break duration (112 seconds) for H1 to be higher than the Q1 average in 2019 (96 seconds) and 2018 (110 seconds). The average number of ads (3.5) saw little change since Q1 2019 (3.4), though this average was highest on desktop (3.8).

Read the full report here.

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