UPDATE Avalanche Of Ad Views Come From TV Everywhere

UPDATE: This version of the story makes clear TVEverywhere make up 65% of all ad views of long-form content, not all content.

By now, the trajectory on online viewing and online video advertising seem to be fairly straightforward--the story is growth in viewing on mobile devices and on OTT devices. So the news in FreeWheel’s Q3 Video Monetization Report is mainly just the percentages.

Some of those increases are pretty amazing, though. For example, the new report, out today, says 65% of all long-form ad views are coming from behind authenticated, TVEverywhere walls. A year ago, that accounted for “just” 46% of all ad views, says FreeWheel, which is now a unit of Comcast.

Either way, the stat gives some indication of the so-far less than full capture of viewers by TVEverywhere peddlers. Imagine if it had been sold to the public better. A relatively new survey says half of consumers don’t know much at all about TVEverywhere, and lots of them who do don’t think it’s easy to use. Though, to be fair, things are improving.



But as many statistical compilations like this show, the trend is toward one universe with long-form programming dominating. Long-form programming is up 30% YOY, and live viewing (mostly sports) is up 113%. Like you’d expect, mobile devices are heavy on short-form video, though (as you might not expect) there’s room on the smaller screens for longer content, too--21% of what’s consumed via smartphones is long form video, compared to 69% that’s short.

A major takeaway from this report is that programmers that allow for video ad insertion on set-top video on demand outlets saw, on average 18% of their volume come from that platform. That makes it the second-largest device in video ad delivery, without, as they say, even trying very hard.

That’s a stat Brian Dutt, the vice president of strategic development for FreeWheel and author of the report, thinks is big news, given that, “very little effort” has been put into SVOD programmatic buying so far.That, he insinuates, will be changing.

If you want more proof of what massive changes can happen in a year, look at this: In Q3 of 2014, 73% of all ad views came from desktop/laptop devices, up a healthy 20%. Just 6% of ad views came from OTT devices, but up a whopping 208%. Smartphone ad views increased 77% to represent 14%. 

But that was last year, a long time ago.

In this year’s batch of stats, laptop/desktop devices make up just 52%; ads via OTT devices represent 13% of the pie, up 157%, and ads via smartphones take 19%, up 67%.

All the viewership stats, of course, omit huge video purveyors such as HBO and Showtime and Netflix, which as ad free environments aren’t counted up here.

If there’s a stat that points to the primacy of premium programming, it is that very little of it is sold programmatically.

 “With premium video, monetization models continue to be driven largely by direct sales efforts with 91% of programmer ad views being tied to deals that were sold and trafficked through traditional methods,” Dutt writes in this report. (And in an interview he says the days when premium is sold in mass quantities in real-time bidding situations is long in the future.)  

The new report says that “unlike the somewhat lawless world of display advertising, premium digital video publishers are focusing on protecting their valuable and sought after inventory.”

In short form video, which appears to be a lot less precious than all that, for the first time FreeWheel calculated where the pre-roll is going. Generally, it’s mostly to sports and news content: Its stats say 92% of all short sports-based videos start with a pre-roll message and 66% of news-skewed content starts with pre-roll. Kids’ short videos are preceded by ads 59% of the time.

But music videos are, to dig up the old DJ banter, all about much more music, much more often. On average, only 34% of them are first subjected to the punishing ordeal of pre-roll advertising.

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