Performance Agencies Skai, Tinuiti Release Data Showing Search, CTV Trends

Skai, an omnichannel platform for performance marketing, and Tinuiti, a large independent performance marketing agency, released separate reports this week highlighting data and trends from Q4 2022. 

Search and YouTube advertisers are looking toward connected television (CTV) to broaden their performance marketing campaigns.

Tinuiti's data, which highlights trends among the customers it supports, shows strength in connected TV -- specifically on YouTube. Spend reached 26% in Q4 2022 -- up from 19% a year earlier. While total YouTube spend increased just 3% YoY in Q4 2022, it was up over 34% for CTV.

Tinuit’s report notes that those gains were offset by decreased spending on desktop, as the platform’s share of spending fell from 26% in Q4 2021 to 17% in Q4 2022. Phone share of YouTube spending increased two points to 50% over the same period. Tablet spend share fell by a little under one point.



Apart from YouTube, CTV plays a larger role in the streaming video ad market. CTV accounted for 34% of streaming video ad spending across both real-time bidding and traditional inventory in Q4 2022, up from 24% a year earlier.

Mobile devices -- including both phones and tablets -- generated 44% of streaming ad spending in Q4 2022, down from 52% in Q4 2021. Desktop streaming spend share held up better on non-YouTube platforms, coming in at 21% in Q4 2022, down just three points from a year earlier.

Tinuiti data also shows that growth in Google's search ad-click remained relatively steady during the past year-and-a-half, but weakening pricing growth led to reduced spending across Google’s text and Shopping ads.

Average CPCs were up by as much as 36% YoY in 2021, as ad prices rebounded against soft performance a year earlier.

In Q4 2022, average search ad CPC was up just 2% YoY. With Google search ad clicks up 8% in Q4, search spending increased 10% YoY -- down from 15% growth in the earlier quarter.

While the growth rate of CPCs in Google search slowed compared with 2019, Google search CPCs were up by 28% for retailers compared with Q4 2022.

Retail CPCs fell nearly 20% Y/Y in the early days of the pandemic before recovering over the second half of 2020. CPCs rose sharply throughout 2021 before stabilizing relative to 2019 levels in early 2022.

High inflation remained one of the biggest concerns during the quarter. Growth in retail average order values (AOVs) from Google Search Ads slowed since it peaked in the mid-teens in Q2 2021.

During the next year-and-a-half, AOV growth slipped to under 4% YoY to start Q4 2022.

After rising a bit in November due to strong Cyber Week results, AOV growth fell to just 2% Y/Y in December 2022.

Even text ad-click growth remained sluggish. Spending on Google search text ads rose a mere 9% in Q4 2022 -- down from 13% growth a quarter earlier. Text ad-click growth trailed that for Google Shopping ads since the second half of 2021, and this continued through Q4 2022.

Text ad clicks were up just 2% in Q4 -- down from 6% growth in Q3. While Shopping CPC growth continued to decelerate in Q4, text CPC growth remained at 7% Y/Y with some advertisers reporting that CPCs for their brand names are back on the rise.

Skai published its Q4 2022 Digital Marketing Quarterly Trends report on Thursday, analyzing market trends that defined Q4 2022.

According to Skai, strategies, diversification, competition, inventory, and the economy likely helped to reduce prices in aggregate.

Data shows the volume of ads that served up online, and the number of ads receiving a click among Skai’s clients rose in retail media, search, and social channels compared with Q4 2021 and Q3 2022.

Total impressions for the paid social channel grew 57% year-over-year (YoY), and retail media and paid-search impressions grew 45% and 22% YoY, respectively. Clicks showed similar growth in each channel.

Skai’s data also shows that advertisers were more likely to see lower YoY ad prices in Q4 than higher prices across channels.

Some 79% of paid social advertisers in Skai’s analysis had a lower cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) than in Q4 of 2021. In retail media and paid search, 53% and 48% of accounts paid a lower cost per click (CPC) in Q4 2022, respectively.

Spending increased during Q4 2021 in all channels, but lower ad prices yielded lower growth rates than previous quarters. Retail media spend saw the biggest increase, up 34% YoY, but 17% quarter over quarter. Total investments in paid search grew 7% YoY and 21% QoQ.

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