Media Aggregators Surpass Premium Publishers in Share of Video Impressions Served in Q4 2020, Shows Report from Extreme Reach

By Sandy Drayton  | 

CTV remains leader in share of impressions by device

New York, NY – February 24, 2021 – Extreme Reach (ER), the complete asset management solution for TV and video advertising, today released the findings of its Video Benchmarks Report with data from Q4 2020 and full year 2020. The report includes ad performance data for impressions served from its AdBridge™ platform to connected TV, desktop, and mobile devices.

Key findings include: 

  • CTV leads the share of impressions by device, but it’s not the only place consumers are watching content: At 35%, CTV maintains the lead in share of impressions by device in the new report. While this is slightly down in Q4 from Q3 2020, CTV remains an integral part of ad campaigns. ER’s data includes a wide range of strategies related to the use of CTV. While CTV is heavily used by some clients, many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands working with ER prioritize the ability to optimize campaigns in real-time based on conversion tracking, and leverage CTV to a lesser extent. Desktop is next in share of impressions, accounting for 25% of impressions served in Q4. Full-year data shows that desktop experienced a 37% increase in impressions, rising from 16% in 2019 to 22% in 2020, perhaps driven by being stuck at home versus on-the-go.
  • Media aggregators surpass premium publishers for the first time: Over the course of 2020, media aggregators increasingly gained momentum, rising from 22% in Q1 to 52% in Q4. Q4 marked the first time that impressions served through media aggregators exceeded premium publishers (48%), perhaps an optimistic signal that fraud detection and other measures are giving buyers more confidence in programmatic aggregator strategies. Full year impressions served via aggregators rose 121% from 19% in 2019 to 42% in 2020.
  • The 30-second ad solidifies dominance: On average, 30-second ads drove 79% of all impressions in full year 2020, up from 67% in full year 2019. The percentage of 30-second ads remained constant throughout 2020, only shifting slightly from the all-time high of 81% in Q3 to 79% in Q4.

In addition to those key learnings, there are indications in the data of two emerging ‘micro-trends’ that ER will be watching in 2021:

  • Will 6-second ads make a comeback? 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. Over time, will brand storytellers find a way to utilize shorter spots in meaningful ways?
  • Average completion rates experience minor decline: Average video completion rates (VCR) dropped 10% year over year, from 89% in full-year 2019 to 80% in full-year 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.

“In a year unlike any other, we saw some trends stay the course, some reverse direction and some brand-new trends emerge,” said Mary Vestewig, Senior Director, Video Account Management at Extreme Reach. “Take ad lengths, for example. 30-seconds continued to be the preferred length for brands and agencies, even amidst the unexpected turns of 2020 and CTV remained the leader in impressions served by device. Outside of those larger trends, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on shifts we’re noticing that may indeed grow into a distinct trend: the potential rise of 6-second ads and a decline in completion rates that may persist. Marketers became more nimble in 2020 and it’s quite likely that we’ll see more of this trait in 2021 as brands look for ways to get the most out of their media mix.”

Extreme Reach’s 2020 Video Benchmark Report is based on the aggregate performance metrics for impressions served from AdBridge™, the company’s video-first asset management platform for marketing creative. The data tracks campaigns for a diverse set of brands across multiple categories. Access the full report here.

About Extreme Reach
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 20 million ad creative assets in its care, every path to any screen is built right inside with over 750 team members ensuring customer success. ER connects the buy and sell sides of the advertising ecosystem for the new way creative gets everywhere.

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