New report: CTV emerges as top platform for video advertisers, completion rates continue to improve
Extreme Reach's video benchmark report also shows that viewability rates continue to rise.
Internet connected television continues to be a fertile place to advertise, according to a new report released Wednesday by Extreme Reach.
Extreme Reach’s Video Benchmarks Report is based on billions of video ad impressions served through its platform in the second quarter of 2018 across multiple devices.
With an 111 percent increase in impressions served over second quarter last year, connected TV (CTV) emerged as the top platform for video advertisers for the first time. Thirty-eight percent of all impressions took place on CTV, edging out mobile’s 30 percent, down from 33 percent from Q1 of this year.
The report concludes that much of the increase was driven by cord-cutting consumers who have turned to platforms like Roku, and services like Netflix and Hulu in lieu of cable.
There’s also good news for advertisers who prize video completion rates (VCR) over click-through rates (CTR) as their leading KPI. Average viewability rates (across media type/purchase method/ad length) rose to 67 percent from 62 percent in Q2, and the proportion of impressions that were both viewable and completed was steady at 76 percent.
Not surprisingly, premium video inventory led every category. Premium video is defined by Extreme Reach as media purchased directly from web publishers, rather than through an exchange, network, demand-side platform (DSP) or other third party. Ninety-two percent of premium ads played in full — 16 percent higher than Q2 of last year — while the rate for aggregators slightly decreased. CTV showed a staggering 97 percent completion rate across premium inventory.
Mary Vestewig, senior director, account management at Extreme Reach, told me that “what stands out in our Q2 report is the increasing strength of the metrics we are seeing around CTV/OTT [over the top television].”
“Video completion rates have been strong in previous quarters which is the result, I believe, of two factors: Viewers tend to be committed to the content they choose to watch and they don’t have an option to skip the ads,” Vestewig said. “What shifted in Q2 vs Q1 and earlier quarters, is that video impressions served on CTV overtook those served on mobile (smartphones) for the first time.”
The report notes that in-banner video rates have been in decline over the past five quarters and that the trend is expected to continue.
From the report:
The in-banner video rate has been declining over the past two years, likely because it is a format used a lot when demand for video ads outpaces supply. With the growth of video content and the ad inventory that accompanies it, in-banner video should continue to decline. In Q1 2018, the rate for premium sites held steady at 5% and declined slightly for media aggregators.
Desktop is the one device that saw a decline in CTR from Q1 to Q2, with just 23 percent of impressions.
GIVT continues to drop
In its 2017 Video Advertising Benchmark Report, Extreme Reach found that compared to 2016, filtered bot traffic (general invalid traffic, or GIVT) was down 31 percent on average and 40 percent for aggregators, a drop it attributed directly to “increased pressure for better accountability from advertisers, as well as a corresponding increase in vigilance among ad tech vendors.”
After reaching a low in this year’s first quarter, the filtered rate for GIVT returned to levels that are more consistent with the past several quarters — but still lower than last year. GIVT among aggregators is higher (8.94 percent) than on premium publisher sites (2.66 percent). Outlier activity by high-frequency posters continues to be cited as the most popular reason for GIVT, but invalid browsers caused GIVT for premium publishers.