1 in 4 TV ads delivered in Q2 2012 in the US and Canada were aired in HD, representing a new high from the previous peak of 23% in Q4 2011, according to an August 2012 study by Extreme Reach Research Group. The share of TV ads delivered or aired in HD has grown by 150% in 2 years, from 10% in Q2 2010, and has now reached a majority share for the first time on network broadcast TV. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the share of TV ads delivered in HD grew by 13.6%, from 22%, while on a year-over-year basis the increase was 25%, from 20% share.
Political Sector Leads Growth
The study tracks the way in which 5 verticals – financial services, political, retail, entertainment, and automotive – have adopted HD over time, finding a surge in use over the past 2 years. 51% of political ads in Q2 2012 were delivered in HD, up from just 8% in Q3 2010. The entertainment sector delivered half of its Q2 ads in HD, up from 17% in Q3 2010, while the financial services sector delivered 44% in HD, up from 29%. Retail and automotive both served 26% of their TV ads in HD in Q2 of this year, up from 13% and 16%, respectively in Q3 2010.
Adoption among the verticals, measured by the percentage of advertisers in the vertical airing HD ads, has also grown. In Q2, 76% of financial services advertisers aired HD TV ads, up from 44% in Q3 2010. A majority of entertainment (73%), political (73%), and retail (56%) advertisers also aired HD TV ads in Q2, each up significantly from Q3 2010. Automotive advertisers show the lowest take-up, at 42%, though that also represents a large gain, from 20% in Q3 2010.
These verticals certainly have a lot to gain from airing ads in HD. According to a February 2012 study from DG and Kantar Media that examined national spots aired in March 2011, SD spots averaged a 17% higher tuneaway than HD spots for entertainment ads, 16% higher for retail ads, and 9% higher for automotive ads. Summing up the potential value of HD ads over SD ads in terms of audience retention among all of the verticals measured, the report estimated that advertisers stood to gain $8.2 billion from airing ads in HD rather than SD.
Broadcast Networks Now Get Most Ads in HD
Meanwhile, data from Extreme Reach’s “HD Advertising Trends Report, Second Quarter, 2012” indicates that network broadcasters are now receiving 55% of their ads in HD, the first time this has crossed the majority threshold. Not far behind is network cable, with 45% of ads received being of the HD variety. While local broadcast and cable trail, they still receive a fairly significant share of their ads in HD, at 23% and 19%, respectively.
- In all verticals save one (entertainment), HD ad distribution was highest on local broadcast channels, led by political ads (70% of HD ad distribution), and followed by automotive (62%), financial services and retail (both at 60%), and entertainment (41%). Local cable took much of the remainder, save for the financial services and retail verticals. The report notes that the number of networks is much smaller than the number of local destinations.
- Nearly 70% of all TV media accept and air HD ads. The growth in adoption by the 4 media types has been dramatic for each media type: for network broadcast (73% in Q2 2012 vs. 30% in Q3 2010); network cable (76% vs. 23%); local cable (74% vs. 5%); and local broadcast (54% vs. 8%).
- 63% of sports TV destinations (venues where sports teams are playing) accept HD advertising.
About The Data: The Extreme Reach Research Group analyzed and referenced data from a sample of 1,900 active television advertisers across 28 verticals, 615 active video production studios and content providers, and nearly every commercial television and cable broadcast outlet in the US and Canada, including all major broadcast networks. The analysis in the 2012 Q2 edition of the HD Trends Report draws from a sample of 270,000 SD and HD commercial deliveries completed over the three-month period between April 1 and June 30, 2012.