Live video ad views in Europe up 67% YoY
July 17, 2018
FreeWheel, a Comcast company and advertising management solution, has launched its Q1 2018 Video Monetisation Report (VMR), which shows the continued evolution of premium video advertising in Europe, driven by the growing popularity of live sports content and streaming services.
Ad views in the region increased 37 per cent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2017 – more than in the US (34 per cent) – while the number of video views rose 10 per cent.
Data from the VMR indicates four key trends across Europe during the first quarter of this year:
- Live ad views in Europe – fuelled by major sporting events such as the Winter Olympics – saw growth of 67 per cent year-on-year, compared to 77 per cent in the US. Premium publishers in Europe sought to deliver on their promise of the first truly digital Games, with Discovery and Eurosport achieving 4.5 billion video views, 1.7 billion hours of video, and 386 million viewers.
- In spite of competition from other platforms, the big screen experience remains a priority for viewers in both Europe and the US. Combined, OTT and STB VoD garnered the highest share of ad views, at 39 per cent. While mobile ad views have risen 19 per cent year-on-year, and desktop also continues to be a key player with a growth rate of 16 per cent, these figures reflect slower growth; and views of premium video on tablet have decreased 2 per cent year-on-year.
- Viewers are watching over more formats and devices than ever – but across the board, ad completion rates remain high. For full episodes, pre- and mid-roll ad completion is at 97 per cent and 96 per cent respectively – indicating strong levels of engagement, and recognition from viewers that advertising and premium content go hand-in-hand.
- The number of consumers switching on to streaming services has increased significantly – with 51 million subscribers across Europe – and broadcasters are continuing to collaborate in order to compete with giants such as Amazon and Netflix. Partnerships between RTVE, Mediaset and Atresmedia, as well as France Broadcasters, TF1 and M6, have already been announced in strategic moves to shake up the OTT and SVOD markets.
Additional findings from the Q1 report included:
- While concerns around transparency have led to direct deals accounting for 84 per cent of premium advertising, programmatic is still experiencing considerable growth in the region. European advertisers have fuelled a rise of 48 per cent year-on-year in this area, and 16 per cent of ad views stem from programmatic transactions.
- Striking the right balance between experience and monetisation, the number of ads per break in long-form on-demand content has decreased. European viewers see 4.6 ads in comparison to the 4.8 in Q1 2017, totalling around 80 seconds – a reduction of 14 seconds.
- Syndication continues to grow in the region, as publishers aim to increase reach and monetisation whilst retaining primary sales rights. An increase of 73 per cent year-on-year, 24 per cent of all ad views are syndicated; while aggregator sites are also experiencing significant growth, at 47 per cent YOY.
The latest figures are a positive sign for the industry during a challenging quarter that has seen the implementation of the GDPR and concerns from brands around transparency and control.
Thomas Bremond, General Manager, International, Comcast, commented: “In the midst of a fast-changing industry, 2017 was a successful year for premium video advertising – and 2018 has also demonstrated a strong start. While the full implications of GDPR within Europe on publishers and advertisers are still to be seen, the positive steps being taken towards greater transparency and optimising the viewer experience will hopefully ensure that the effects are minimal, and the relationship between brand and consumer will continue to flourish.”