Ad Views in Premium Video Jump 17%, FreeWheel Says

Viewing of live digital content gains share

Advertisers continue to flock to premium digital video, according to a new report from FreeWheel.

Premium ad views grew at 17% year-over-year, driven by strong double-digit growth of full-episode and live-stream monetization, FreeWheel said in its Second Quarter Video Monetization Report. Video starts were up 26%.

FreeWheel noted that advertisers have expressed concerns about fraud and viewability in some forms of digital advertising.

Despite that, “premium video publishers have doubled down on their efforts to demonstrate superior value and develop creative products that advance advertiser goals,” FreeWheel said. “Even with the content and device landscape looking markedly different than in the recent past, premium video is well positioned to overcome industry headwinds and deliver another great season.”

Ads in live digital video grew by 20% to account for 21% of total ad views, up from 17% a year ago. The bulk of the live views — 73% — were in sports programming. Live news ad views jumped 150%.

The bulk of ads continued to be viewed during long-form content and full episodes at 61%, unchanged from last year, with 93% of the episodes being entertainment shows, compared with 5% for sports and 2% news.

Related: Survey Finds Programmatic TV Gains With First Party Data

Ads in shorter clips were down 2% and accounted for 18% of ad views, down from 22% a year ago.

The growth in video monetization is further accelerated by the adoption and acceleration in usage of OTT device platforms, according to FreeWheel. Driven by full episode and live viewing, OTT grew to 29% of ad views in Q2 2017. At the same time, desktop ad views declined to 27%, the smallest share it has had since the VMR was first published more than five years ago.