The share of digital ad views seen on OTT devices has grown by 157% YOY, according to ad management platform FreeWheel’s Q3 2015 Video Monetization Report. The report found that OTT devices represent 13% of the overall share of ad views, defined as when at least one frame of the ad plays, with desktops taking 52% of the share. Smartphones are responsible for 19% of ad views, but that number is growing fast, at a rate of 67%. Lastly, set-top-box VOD ad views took 6% of the share.
FreeWheel’s report looked at census-level data from 3 broadcast networks, 15 cable programmers, 6 cable and satellite companies and 11 digital pureplay companies, amounting to an estimated 160 billion video views in 2015.
When diving deeper into distribution of ad views across OTT devices, the report found that the top players in ad view share were Apple TV, at 38%, Roku, at 31%, and gaming consoles, at 20%. Approximately 61% of ad views on OTT devices are seen with live content, and 25% is long-form, or 20+ minutes. The large live portion of ads viewed on OTT devices can be explained by the high volume of sports content viewed: When looking at ad view share by content segment and device, OTT devices see live sports accounting for 56% of it.
In terms of overall growth numbers of ad views, it has increased 28% since Q3 2014. About 9% of that growth is coming from short-form content, 30% from long-form, and 113% from live. “We’ve seen big growth in live for pretty much every report in the last year,” said strategic development VP Brian Dutt. The most growth potential is from live and long-form, given the ad views in short-form content is more of a mature market at this point, he said.
When looking at the overall volume of ad views broken down by company type, digital pureplay companies see most of their ad views from short-form content. Long-form content represents just 9% and live 2%, but Dutt stressed that companies like Periscope are starting to build their businesses around live content, so that live number should be interesting to watch. For programmers, the ad share numbers are quite different: 33% comes from short-from, 32% from live and 29% from long-form.
However, it’s important to look at the varied types of programmers out there, and break them down by content, Dutt said. For sports content providers, 63% of ad view share is live. News has 17% live, with the majority of ad views still coming from short-form content: 76%. The latter represents an opportunity for news providers if they can grow the ad view share surrounding live programming, he said. Often short-form news clips haven’t been monetized with ads, he added. Meanwhile, for kids and entertainment programming, ad views mostly come from long-form content, and music is obviously viewed in short-form.
On the monetization piece, the report found that on average monetization models continue to be driven by direct sales for programmers. 91% of the sales channel share of ad views for programmers goes to the direct sales model, dispelling the idea that resellers and exchanges—like programmatic platforms—are taking a large share. The report found that those resellers account for just 5.5%. The conclusion is that premium content continues to be sold primarily through private exchanges.