It seems like eons ago, but it’s been just six months since the pandemic turned life in much of the world upside down. It was a mere three months ago, with stay-at-home orders in place, that we at ER were kicking into high gear for our Q1 Video Benchmark report.
Analysis of Q1 data revealed some anomalies in previously steady trends. The consistent growth of CTV impressions saw an unexpected dip. The share of impressions served to aggregators increased, though premium publishers continued to maintain the far greater share. Desktop and mobile gained as audiences worked and studied from home.
In a year in which unpredictability is the only predictable thing, we noted the facts and looked forward to seeing how things would shake out in Q2 before making further predictions about whether our video ad serving data would indicate a return to “normal.”
And now that the Q2 numbers are in and analysis done, the answer is…not entirely clear.
In Q2, we saw CTV impressions return to a level more akin to that in 2019, but desktop and mobile remain strong. This suggests the multi-device household with family members needing to find spots in the home to consume media without interfering with each other is still a big factor. Another interesting observation is that ads with a 30-second duration, which came to prominence alongside CTV, continued to grow as a share of all impressions. While that has been the trend, the anomaly is that completion rates, which are generally incredibly high given they can’t be skipped on CTV, decreased slightly in Q2.
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.
In the turbulent year that is 2020, it’s difficult to offer a single truth. We can, however, offer the insights we draw based on our data and years of experience immersed in the always-changing digital video advertising ecosystem, with the hope that our report provides some helpful guidance during these challenging times.