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Q3 2019 Video Benchmarks, AdBridge Insights

2019 is shaping up to be a defining year for the video advertising landscape, marked by following consumers to connected TV, an embrace of the value of premium content adjacency, and a return of the good old 30-second ad for brand storytelling.

While we will reserve full judgement for our year-in-review report after the close of 2019, this Q3 report—based on video ads served from AdBridge—reveals relatively stable trends this year in how marketers are using digital video to build business.

Perhaps what’s old is new again? And by this we mean that maybe things we always believed to be true are still true but in new and better ways, like these:

CTV Delivers the Big Screen TV-like Experience But With Consumer Choice & Control
In Q3 2019, it happened. CTV became the majority destination for impressions served, tallying in at 51%. While this may fluctuate a bit quarter to quarter based on the supply of inventory, it’s striking to see that figure relative to where we landed in 2018 at 38% of impressions being served to connected TV destinations. The steady march in CTV share from Q1 (49%) to Q2 (50%) to Q3 (51%) leads us to believe this is a true, predictable trend and not another shiny object phenomenon.

Premium Content Adjacency Clearly Works for Brands
All three quarters of 2019 showed a strong embrace of premium content destinations vs. media aggregators. In fact, the average mix in 2019 to-date is 81% premium/19% aggregators. This is certainly driven in part by the rush to leverage CTV but there is also a solid increase in impressions going to premium online content as well. Spoiler alert: Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands really like premium content as evidenced by the vertical specific data in that category. In Q3, DTC brands delivered 93% of their impressions to premium inventory.

Brands Need 30 Seconds to Grab Us By the Hearts and Minds
Brands need all shapes and sizes of ad formats to truly navigate the consumer media landscape today. And while that portfolio will surely include experimentation in the super short category (:06 ads for example), we saw a move back to more :30’s in 2018 and 2019 after a move to go shorter in years prior. For example, the share of :30’s served in 2015 was 41%. That dipped to 38% in 2016 and hit an all time low of 33% in 2017. In 2018, :30s jumped to 54% and in Q3 of this year, they accounted for 66% of ads served. Perhaps short stories can become too short to be effective and a mix is what’s needed to affect consumer behavior today.

We hope this report helps you examine the past in order to understand where the market might be heading. It is an exciting (and challenging) time to be in this industry! At Extreme Reach, we are honored to move so many amazing brand stories through AdBridge and in doing so, offer up a data-driven view into the evolution of brand marketing across the multi-channel landscape.

Download the full report, which also gives you access to our trend file that provides a snapshot of quarterly metrics dating back to Q1 2016.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what our video benchmarks reveal and answer any questions they bring up. Feel free to reach out to [email protected].

See you on the flip side and here’s to an amazing 2020 ahead.