OTT ad views triple

20 August 2014
SAN MATEO, CA: Viewing of digital video ads on OTT devices in the US more than tripled in the year to June, but desktops and laptops continue to account for over three quarters of the total, research has shown.

The quarterly Video Monetization Report from FreeWheel highlighted a year-on-year growth of 236% for ad views on OTT devices, with consumers proving particularly keen to invest in streaming set-top boxes and dongles in order to watch online video.

But even with this stellar rate of growth, OTT devices still only accounted for 4% of the total. Ad views via smartphones grew 93% to take a 13% share, while tablets increased 26% to a 7% share.

Ad views on desktops and laptops declined only 1%, and with an overall 76% share these devices remain by far the most important for marketers.

FreeWheel said the US was lagging behind the UK, where "publishers have done a remarkable job at monetising content across devices". Some 40% of UK ad views came on smartphones, tablets or OTT devices in the second quarter.

It also remarked on the trend in the UK to long-form content, of 20 minutes or more: this accounted for 75% of ad views compared to 53% in the US. The respective figures for mid-form content (5 to 20 minutes) were 5% and 8%, and for short-from content (less than 5 minutes) 20% and 39%.

US publishers and video distributors might well look to the UK not only for hints on monetisation, the report suggested, but also for proof that future of digital video was likely to resemble linear TV.

In one sense that was already evident, as Freewheel noted that ad break lengths were getting longer and that more ads were being shown. An average of 2.7 ads in a 68 second break in Q2 2013 had increased to 3.7 ads in a 98 second break a year later.

Publishers were looking to emulate the viewing experience that consumers were most used to. "Viewers have proven receptive thus far," the report said, "acknowledging that TV is TV, regardless of screen."

Data sourced from Freewheel; additional content by Warc staff
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