Our quarterly benchmarks report provides fresh insights into performance trends in video advertising and a basis of comparison for brands and agencies to judge campaign success. Completion rates in Q1 reached new highs, fraud rates hit new lows and advertisers embraced 6-second ads.

Premium publishers account for the majority of video impressions in Q1 at a rate of 71%, versus 29% for media aggregators, and mobile tops the devices on which impressions were served. Trends in click-through, viewability and time spent are also captured in the report.

Key findings include:

Ad Fraud
Video continues to prove powerful in the fight against ad fraud, with filtered general invalid traffic reaching a new low of 3.7 percent, a reduction of 32.3 percent compared to Q1 2017. Premium media sites experienced even greater declines, dropping 45.9 percent year over year to reach just 2.2 percent. Extreme Reach attributes the declines to advertiser demand for accountability driving increased vigilance among ad tech vendors.

Viewability
Viewable completion rates (percentage of impressions that are both viewable and completed), remain on an upward trajectory, achieving modest gains over Q1 2017. On average, the percent of video ads that are both viewable and played in their entirety is an unprecedented 88 percent for premium media sites and 69 percent for aggregators.

Ad Lengths
After generating considerable buzz in the advertising world in the second half of 2017, 6-second ads picked up steam in Q1 2018. Extreme Reach saw the number of vendors running 6-second ads increase over 300 percent versus Q1 2017. The new format currently accounts for 2.8 percent of all video ads served by Extreme Reach, up from .04 percent in Q1 2017. The video benchmarks report shows the average completion rate for 6-second ads is 74%, but when removing any impressions where 3rd party measurement was not also available for completions, the rate jumps to 90%. These numbers are likely to drive exponential increases in the quarters ahead.

Engagement
After several quarters of declining click through rates (CTR), Q1 2018 featured a reversal of the trend, with both premium media and aggregators showing increases. Mobile continues to prove the most effective channel for advertisers driving user action from video advertising, as indicated by an increase in CTR of 79.2 percent from the prior quarter. Still, this remains 20.4 percent lower than the peak seen in Q1 2017. Tablets also showed gains for the first time in 3 consecutive quarters, increasing 40.0 percent from the previous high in Q1 2017 and 90 percent over Q4 figures.

Devices
Responsible for one third of all video ad impressions, mobile is solidifying its position at the head of the media-consumption pack. CTV/OTT is also growing quickly, largely driven by the increasing number of consumers who are “cutting the cord.” In Q1 2018, these platforms realized a 47.6 percent increase in impressions year over year. Desktop, on the other hand, experienced its fourth consecutive quarter of decline. Dropping 41.6 percent compared to Q1 2017, desktop impressions are now just 24.0 percent of the total.

 

Link to the full interactive report here.

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