Report: Continued convergence of linear and digital TV

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FreeWheel, a Comcast company and advertising management solution, has published its Q4 2018 Video Marketplace Report (previously the Video Monetisation Report), which shows the line between linear and digital TV is increasingly disappearing, as the TV and premium video landscape evolves.

In Europe, confidence in premium video continues to grow, with overall ad views in 2018 ending up 22 per cent higher from 2017. However, video views decreased by 16 per cent over the same period as a result of GDPR implementation and content delivery restrictions by US publishers.

Data from the new VMR – revamped to increase its focus on consumer and buy-side trends – revealed a number of key themes across Europe:

  • Publishers are continuing to increase monetisation of live inventory, with live ad views more than doubling year-on-year. Sport is a particular driving force for live viewing in Europe, accounting for more than half (55 per cent) of total ad views
  • Connected TV has demonstrated a clear strength with above market growth, accounting for 40 per cent of all ad views – showing an increase of 29 per cent year-on-year
  • Viewing trends in premium video mirror those of linear, however, ad views peak at 10pm, which is later than the ‘primetime’ for traditional TV. As 85 per cent of all ad views in premium video are VoD, this suggests that these ad views are incremental to linear TV.

Thomas Bremond, General Manager, International, FreeWheel and Comcast Technology Solutions, commented: “Premium video is solidifying its position in the marketplace and is opening up new opportunities for marketers. It has been an interesting year, following the implementation of GDPR and the effect it has had on publishers. Nonetheless, this increased focus on transparency and brand-safety enables advertisers to offer high-quality, premium content that engages the user and improves the viewer experience.”

Other findings from the report included:

  • Syndication continues to be used as a tool to shore up audiences and maximise reach, with syndicated ad views increasing 25 per cent year-on-year and 20 per cent market share for Q4
  • FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) is the largest category within premium video, with 29 per cent of all ad views
  • With an increase of 17 per cent year-on-year, programmatic grew faster than direct sold, up 13 per cent in the same period as last year

The report concluded that ‘watching TV’ was now more about content than device, and could mean tuning into linear TV, engaging with content on a connected TV or streaming live events via mobile.


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