Q4 and Full Year 2020 Video Benchmarks, AdBridge Insights

By Mary Vestewig  | 

In a year unlike any other, we saw some trends stay the course, some reverse direction and some new trends emerge.

At 35%, CTV continues to lead share of impressions by device, but it’s not the only place consumers are watching content. While this number was slightly down in Q4 from Q3 2020, CTV remains an integral part of ad campaigns. Our data portrays a range of strategies related to the use of CTV. While CTV is heavily used by some clients, many DTC brands prioritize the ability to optimize campaigns in real-time based on e-commerce conversion tracking and leverage CTV to a lesser extent.

Desktop is second in share of impressions, accounting for 25% of impressions served in Q4 and full year data shows that desktop impressions rose from 16% in 2019 to 22% in 2020. This was likely driven by the shift to working from home in 2020. And with regard to cross-screen copy length, 30-second ads reigned, driving 79% of all impressions in full year 2020, up from 67% in 2019.

Over the course of 2020, media aggregators increasingly gained momentum, rising from 22% in Q1 to 52% in Q4 which marked the first time that impressions served through media aggregators exceeded premium publishers (at 48%). Full year impressions served via aggregators rose from 19% in 2019 to 42% in 2020.

There are indications in the data of two emerging ‘micro-trends’ that we’ll be watching in 2021: the uptick in the use of  6-second ads and a decline in average completion rates. While only accounting for a tiny portion of ads served in Q4, the 6-second ad did inch up from .04% of impressions in Q3 to 0.6% in Q4 which leads us to wonder if, over time, brand storytellers will find a way to utilize shorter spots in meaningful ways. Average video completion rates (VCR) dropped from 89% in full year 2019 to 80% in 2020. While the average completion rate for all media types slowly declined over the course of 2020, VCR for premium publishers remained strong and closed out the year at 91% in Q4.

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.

If you have questions or comments stemming from what you read, we’d love to hear from you at [email protected].

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