• Research: Connected TV Ad Impressions Share Settles Into 50% Range, For Now

    Extreme Reach has released its Q4 and full year 2019 Video Benchmarks Report, finding, among other things, that connected TV (CTV) has settled into a range of approximately 50% share of all video ad impressions. In Q4 ’19 CTV impression share landed at 47%, slightly down sequentially from 51% in Q3 ’19 (also its peak quarter for the year), but slightly up YOY from 44% in Q4 ’18.

    Three months ago, when I reviewed ER’s Q3 ’19 benchmarks report, I wondered whether CTV share would step up in the Q4 holiday season since cord-cutting was accelerating and new services were launching. But it looks like the answer was no, at least for now.

    Overall however, I would still assert that CTV ad share is only going in one direction, which is up. In addition to the above, there are many reasons to be confident: continued adoption of CTV devices by U.S. homes, an increased emphasis on ads in coming OTT services (e.g. Peacock, HBO Max, ViacomCBS “House of Brands,” etc.). There are numerous things happening on the adtech side which are helping build a targeting/measurement foundation for CTV ads (just yesterday, the Beachfront/Beeswax/LiveRamp integration and NBCU’s “One Platform” release with partners 4C/FreeWheel/Operative). As we move into upfront season, more announcements are likely.

    Obviously it’s impossible to predict quarter-to-quarter growth in CTV ad share, but as I’ve been talking to various industry executives in the past few weeks one thing has become clear: with all the investments in OTT, CTV, measurement, data, etc., along with the continued decline of linear and acceleration of cord-cutting, CTV has simply become “too big to fail.” In other words, there are now so many powerful industry forces betting on CTV that it must succeed, and in a big way. Otherwise there’s going to be a whole lot of pain felt throughout the industry.

    Back to the benchmarks report, a lot of the remaining data shows steady, stable growth in 2019. Premium publishers garnered 81% of impressions in Q4 ’19, in the average of the prior 3 quarters. 30-second spots accounted for 69% of impressions, same as in Q1 ’19, and down a smidge from Q3’s 66%. Average completion rates were steady at 88%. Click through rate bumped up a bit to .18% vs. .15% in the prior quarter. The biggest move was the decrease in invalid traffic for video ads served by ER which declined by 25% to just 1% in Q4.

    There’s a lot more data in the full report, which can be downloaded for free.

    (Note: if CTV ads are critical to your business, check out our CTV Advertising Summit, coming up on June 11th in NYC. Extreme Reach is a Gold partner and will have team-members attending who can explain their solutions.)