In the US, Premium Video Ads Are Mostly Being Seen on Connected TV

November 16, 2023

The number of ad views on premium video grew by 6% year-over-year in the US and by 15% year-over-year in Europe during the first half of this year, according to a FreeWheel report [download page]. Large screens dominated premium video ad viewing in the US, per the report, but were more split between bigger and smaller screens in Europe.

Specifically, three-quarters (76%) of premium video ad views in the US during the first half of the year occurred on connected TV (CTV) devices, with an additional 5% share on set-top box video-on-demand (STB VOD) platforms.

The remaining fifth of ad views were more heavily weighted to mobile (13% share) than desktop (6%).

In Europe, though, only slightly more than half (53%) of premium video ad views occurred on a big screen, with STB VODs actually garnering a slightly higher share (27%) than CTVs (26%).

As in the US, though, the remaining ad views favored mobiles (32%) over desktops (15%) by a roughly 2:1 margin, with the largest share of ad views overall occurring on mobiles, compared to the other devices.

The greater affinity in the US for CTV viewing is supported by survey research indicating that close to 9 in 10 (88% of) US TV households have a least one internet-connected TV device, and that about half (49%) of adults in TV households are watching video on a CTV device on a daily basis.

Ad viewing growth was faster for CTVs in Europe (+28% year-over-year) than the US (+11%), though, perhaps due to rising from a smaller base.

Roku continued to dominate at 44% share of ad views on CTV devices in the US during H1, compared to just 9% in Europe. Instead, Fire TV led the way in Europe at 26% share of CTV ad views, just ahead of smart TVs (24% share).

Within the US, 87% of live content ad viewing occurred on CTV devices, while the devices took 64% share of ad views on VOD platforms. In Europe, the largest share of live premium video content ad views was consumed on mobile devices (40%), ahead of CTV (31%).

In other results from the analysis:

  • There was an 80% year-over-year increase in the US of ad impressions using audience targeting.
  • Audience-targeted campaigns in the US skewed to behavioral (68% share) indicators over demographic targeting (32% share), whereas the inverse was true in Europe, where 69% of audience-targeted campaigns used demographic targeting versus 31% that used behavioral indicators.
  • US streaming ad views were fairly evenly split between live (54%) and VOD (46%), whereas in Europe they heavily favored VOD (82%) over live (18%). The analysts attribute this discrepancy in part to the popularity of FASTs in the US.
  • Programmatic ad views grew by 21% year-over-year in the US. Once again, programmatic ad views in the US were heavily skewed towards CTVs (85%), whereas in Europe mobiles led the way (42% share), with the smallest share (18%) occurring on CTVs.

For more, download the report here.

About the Data: Per the report, “the data set used … is one of the largest available on the usage and monetization of professional, rights-managed ad-supported video content worldwide and is based on aggregated advertising data collected through the FreeWheel platform.”


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