The latest Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach (ER) has shown that as the pandemic continues, so does its impact on the video advertising ecosystem with impressions on mobile and desktop remaining strong.
According to aggregate metrics from ER’s AdBridge platform reflecting video advertising performance metrics for April through to June 2020, following a distinct drop in Q1, the share of video impressions served to connected TV (CTV) platforms rose to 40% in the second quarter. This increase said ER brings the proportion of impressions closer to the range observed throughout 2019.
In addition to indicating how media consumption trends have shifted during Covid, the Q2 metrics pointed to changes in media buying patterns that result from those trends. The percentage of impressions served through premium publishers fell to 65%, its lowest point since Q3 2018. Inversely, the share of impressions served via media aggregators increased from 22% in Q1 to 35% in Q2, a rise of 59%. This said ER suggested that as some advertisers reduced marketing budgets in response to the softened economy, more of the inventory that was previously available only through premium vendors became available on exchanges.
In terms of ad formats, 30-second ads solidified their dominance with 79% share of impressions. The report noted that while ads of this duration came to prominence with the rise in CTV viewing, their proportion continued to grow for the fourth consecutive quarter, despite the decline seen in the percentage share of impressions served to CTV. Extreme Reach did note a slight decrease in completion rates for ads of this duration, which it said can be attributed to the increase in viewing on platforms that enable viewers to skip ads.
The Q2 2020 report marked a shift in the way Extreme Reach captured mobile metrics. Impressions served to mobile in-app are now reported separately from impressions served to mobile web. Impressions served to Tablets are now included in either mobile in-app or mobile web.
The data shows that 26% of video ad impressions by device were served in-app, while 12% were served to mobile web. Though it cautioned that general trends cannot be determined without a comparison to previous quarters, the completion rate of ads in-app is notably higher, at 79%, than the rate of 64% on mobile web. This said the report may be connected to the increase in viewers accessing ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms on mobile devices as multiple-occupancy households continue to split viewing across screens. Mobile in-app ads saw higher impressions, better completion rates than ads on mobile web.
Another discernible trend was that rising click-through rates (CTR) were raising the possibility of a new trend. CTR for video ads tended to be a small percentage, but has typically been higher than display. ER posited the theory that as CTV and 30-second ads came to prominence and the CTR rate saw steady declines, the decrease would continue because completion had largely become the priority.
However, in Q2 2020, ER noted that overall, CTR increased 39% year over year to .29%. This it said may be connected to an increase in direct response ads, also known as shoppable ads, that are commonly used by direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands as they continue to explore the effectiveness of different digital platforms.
“While the extent of the long-term effect that Covid-19 will have on the media and advertising ecosystems cannot yet be fully understood, the fact the pandemic continues to drive volatility is unquestionable,” said Mary Vestewig, ER’s senior director, video account management, commenting on the findings revealed by the survey. “Shifts in viewing habits are certainly impacting how consumers are interacting with both content and ads across devices. As schools begin to reopen and online activities across all generations respond, we’ll be closely monitoring trends in our data.”