OTT Devices Lead Online Ad Wave

Growth outpaces smartphones and tablets, FreeWheel says

Most online-video ads are still Watched on desktops and laptops, but ad viewing on over-the-top devices such as Roku and Apple TV boxes and gaming consoles is gaining ground, and fast.

The over-the-top TV device was the fastest-growing segment for ad-supported online video viewing in the second quarter, according to FreeWheel’s Video Monetization Report for the period. Growth in that device segment outpaced the other categories, including smartphones, tablets and desktops or laptops. About 38% of ad views came from devices other than a desktop or laptop, and Q2 marked the first time that smartphones surpassed a 20% share of total video-ad views, FreeWheel, the online advertising firm acquired by Comcast last year, said. The viewing of live TV on OTT devices dominated other devices, though tablets were the device of choice for viewing long-form programs (of 20 minutes or more). The smartphone, unsurprisingly, was the most popular device for the viewing of shorter-form video. Scripted dramas led ad views for long-form content, ahead of reality shows, comedy/variety programs and kids fare.

While Roku led streaming-device sales in 2014, it’s not out in front with respect to OTT video ad viewing. That honor belongs to Apple TV, which held a 39% share in that category in Q2.

On the authenticated TV everywhere front, viewership on MVPD-supplied apps surged 200% year-over-year, but accounted for just 4.5% of all programmer ad views.

Overall authenticated viewing rose 151%, FreeWheel said. That trend illustrates that TVE is gaining traction “regardless of major tentpole events to draw [viewers] in,” the company said. Among other findings, FreeWheel said programmers sold just 6.4% of their digital video ads through resellers (such as ad networks, ad exchanges and and supply side platforms) in Q2 2015. The bulk (89.8%) came through inventory the programmers managed themselves.