First it was desktop, then mobile and now it’s all about the living room at premium video ad management solutions provider FreeWheel. That’s because “This is truly premium viewing experiences,” says SVP of Client Services Mike Lawlor. “It’s lean back, it’s dynamic, it’s highly engaged viewers on 60-inch television screens.”
Moreover, it’s “fraud-free, it’s 100% viewable,” Lawlor says in an interview with Beet.tv.
FreeWheel’s third quarter Video Monetization Report has all the numbers: Ad views grew 28% year over year, while video views increased 37%. The discrepancy, as MediaPost reports, is chalked up to a preponderance of short-form content with fewer ads during the quarter, owing to the Olympics and the presidential election.
As more audiences gather before the TV screen, OTT and set-top box video on demand now have a combined share of 38% versus 36% for desktop. Given all the OTT and VOD activity, dynamic ad insertion becomes increasingly important but is limited by the melding of technologies that facilitate it.
“We’re starting to see the pace of the integration of technologies to enable dynamic ad insertion on set-top box environments increasing,” says Lawlor.
Year over year there was roughly a 100% rise in set-top box VOD ad views and about 70% in OTT.
“The ability for programmers to sell into set-top box environments as well as OTT is becoming greater pretty much every quarter that we go through,” Lawlor says.
Sports and other live video programming “continues to be an important growth story for our major programmers,” Lawlor adds. “The programmers who have the sports rights continue to proliferate the ways by which they can distribute their content across every device.”
The Video Monetization Report also notes that programmers are embracing programmatic at different rates. Automated transaction models continued to grow at a significant rate (up 64% year over year) but still remain a relatively low percentage of overall premium video ad sales in the U.S., at 11.4%.
“Some of the factors that keep this number down include strong direct sales across the premium video economy, as well as risk factors related to managing user experience from Automated Transaction Models,” the report states.
In the third quarter, 7.3% of ad views were delivered programmatically, a 92% increase year over year from 5.5% of ad views in the third quarter of 2015.
The living room will be a big focus for FreeWheel at CES 2017, because Lawlor believes “there is tremendous opportunity” for programmers to explain the benefits of big-screen viewing of premium video.
“That is under penetrated in terms of an opportunity for the buy side right now,” Lawlor adds. “This is the most engaged viewer that you’re going to have: Somebody sitting in their living watching on their television screen through whichever pipes we’re running the ads and content through.