Streaming services comprised 45 per cent of non-linear ad views in the first half of this year, according to a FreeWheel report.
Additionally, fueled by buyers seeking flexibility, programmatic also emerged as a main theme during this year’s upfronts, as evidenced by its 84 per cent year-on-year (YOY) growth. This is expected to remain a key trend moving forward, said FreeWheel, a Comcast company in its U.S. Video Marketplace Report (VMR).
“As these new consumer behaviors and advertising tactics become habitual, we’re expecting many of these trends to continue fueling the pace and development of new technologies, innovations and ways of reaching and engaging viewers,” said a statement carried on Business Wire.
The report’s key findings include:
- Viewers showed that they are still streaming in the first half of 2021. In particular, there has been a shift in how people watch video with the growth of CTV viewership and the launch of new streaming platforms offering more TV quality programming. During this time frame, ad views continued to increase 50 per cent YOY, driven by the increase in streaming. In fact, streaming services accounted for 45 per cent of recorded ad views, greater than TV Everywhere (TVE), Set-Top Box Video on Demand (STB VOD) and Virtual MVPDs (vMVPDs) as a distribution platform.
- Connected TV (CTV) accounts for 60 per cent of total ad views, with Roku and Fire TV devices continuing to lead with 43 per cent and 26 per cent of CTV views, respectively.
- As the world emerged from an unpredictable year, buyers went into the upfronts seeking flexibility, with an increased focus on programmatic transactions. According to a recent study, more than half of CTV buyers planned to allocate more money to programmatic in 2021 than they did in 2020. This trend was seen in the first half of 2021, with programmatic transactions comprising 24 per cent of premium video ad views, resulting in an 84 per cent YOY growth.
- Entertainment programming continues to lead the premium TV video ecosystem, with 92 per cent of ad views. As streaming services continue to double down on content, two main approaches emerged: those who diversify and those who specialize. Paramount+ and Peacock, for instance, offer consumers diverse content ranging from sports to comedies, dramas and movies, while others focus on specific verticals. (Examples include Warner Media’s HBO Max and CNN’s upcoming, subscription based, live programming news streaming service, CNN+.)
- Behavioral targeting increased share due to advances in audience targeting capabilities with 60 per cent representing behavioral segments and 40 per cent demo.
“The first half of 2021 was an interesting and pivotal time in terms of viewership trends and how the industry responded. One example was the rise in programmatic transactions, as buyers sought greater flexibility, in this year’s upfronts,” said Comcast Advertising VP of Marketing James Rothwell. “As these new consumer behaviors and advertising tactics become habitual, we’re expecting many of these trends to continue fueling the pace and development of new technologies, innovations and ways of reaching and engaging viewers.”