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As Streaming Wars Heat Up, Advertisers Invest in CTV, Premium Publisher Inventory and 30-second Ad Lengths

Trends in DTC and Auto Categories Also Revealed in Q3 Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach’s AdBridge Platform

New York, NY – November 20, 2019 – Connected TV (CTV) continues to dominate video advertising, reveals the latest Video Benchmarks Report from Extreme Reach (ER), the complete asset management solution for TV and video ads. In Q3 2019, CTV maintained its steady growth, accounting for 51 percent of all video ad impressions served by ER’s AdBridgeTM platform, continuing the climb from 49% in Q1 and 50% in Q2. The new report also shows that premium publishers continue to attract the lion’s share of impressions across all advertising categories and that the dominance of 30-second ads signals the proven power of a long-time favorite to tell a richer story that resonates.

Across all video ads served, ER reports stable metrics quarter over quarter. The absence of wild swings indicates the industry is settling into its new, CTV-based reality. The quarterly report, based on the latest aggregate performance metrics from AdBridge, tracks campaigns for a diverse set of brands across multiple categories. It provides an industry-wide snapshot that identifies emerging ad performance trends as indicated by viewer click-through and video ad completion rates as well as invalid traffic and time spent. Breakdowns related to these numbers based on media destination (premium publisher vs. media aggregator) and device (desktop, mobile, tablet and CTV) are also covered.

Prevailing trends include:

30-Second Ads Lead — The steady rise of 30-second ads parallels the surge of CTV. Q2 2018 marked the first quarter that 30-second ads surpassed 15-second ads in the overall percentage of impressions served by ER. It’s a trend that held steady through Q3 2019 when :30s accounted for 66 percent of video ad impressions and 15-second spots declined to 32 percent. That amounts to an increase of 19.5 percent for :30s from Q3 2018 to Q3 of this year.

Longer is Stronger for DTC and Auto — While 30-second ads account for 66 percent of impressions overall in Q3, both DTC and Auto ads showed an even larger investment in this length. For auto, 30-second spots accounted for 84 percent while in the DTC category they rose to a whopping 97 percent of impressions by length.

Premium Prevails for Most — With video completion rates over 90 percent, the vast majority of impressions landed on premium destinations (rather than media aggregator inventory), driving 80 percent of overall impressions in Q3 — an increase of 25 percent over Q3 in 2018. DTC brands mirror the broader group of advertisers in strongly favoring premium publishers over the last three quarters.

Auto Advertisers Rely more on Aggregators — A preference for aggregators is one way in which auto advertisers show markedly different trends from the broader group. The 57 percent of impressions served to media aggregators in Q3 is a 10 percent increase from the prior quarter and nearly triple the overall rate.

“It’s interesting to see just how much has changed in the past year, and it’s all been driven by consumers’ embrace of CTV as a new and better viewing experience,” said Mary Vestewig, ER’s Senior Director, Video Account Management. “As we head into 2020, we don’t expect to see major swings in our metrics. But as more AVOD players emerge and the streaming wars heat up, it’s best for brands and their agencies to remain nimble in the ever-changing video advertising ecosystem.”

The full report is available for download here.

About Extreme Reach
In addition to being the third largest Employer of Record (EOR) in the US, Extreme Reach (ER) has revolutionized the way marketers and their agencies control the deployment of creative assets and how the media sources those ads to execute campaigns across the complex media landscape. The company’s creative asset management platform, AdBridge™, is built upon a decade of innovation—seamlessly integrating video ad serving, linear TV distribution, OTT/CTV delivery and Talent & Rights management.

With over 13 million ad creative assets in its care, every path to any screen is built right inside. Nearly 800 team members in 19 offices worldwide ensure success for major brands and their agencies. ER connects the buy and sell sides of the advertising ecosystem, simplifying and speeding campaign activation for every team involved.