It is the fastest-growing digital ad category out there, but what does video really look like under the hood?
That is a question we ask ourselves every quarter. In Extreme Reach’s latest Video Benchmarks report for Q3 2017, third-party video ad-serving data from the Extreme Reach Platform (representing leading brands across multiple verticals) indicates a key tipping point and encouraging signs.
In Q3, the greatest portion of video impressions were served on mobile (39%). The largest share of mobile growth corresponds to a decrease in impressions served on tablets (now just 14% vs 25% in Q3 2016).
The plateauing of tablets as a device category has been well documented . It seems like their smaller, handheld cousins are really moving much faster now.
The move from larger screens, in which clicking is more commonplace, may account for declining click-through rates . Average video CTR is down from 0.37% in Q3 2016 to 0.26% in Q3 2017.
Viewers watch for longer
This may seem alarming, but video is not wholly a CTR game or performance medium, per se. Completion rates for video ads (VCR) show steady growth with a one percent increase to 68%. And mobile viewers are sticking around-at 63%, mobile VCR is unchanged from last year.
This pales in comparison to connected TV, however. In this more linear, lean back format, video completion rate now tops 94%-up five percent from a year ago and now the leading platform for advertisers who are targeting VCR.
It is pleasing to see that more and more impressions are becoming more and more valid. The proportion of video impressions deemed “viewable” – that is, those whose videos are 50% in-view and played a minimum of 2 consecutive seconds – jumped eight points versus a year ago to 68% this quarter.
Go small or go home
There is a slight pullback in use of in-banner video . In the last couple of years, this format has received plenty of attention. In Q3 we saw the in-banner video player rate dip by one percent to 16%, while the small video player rate jumped nine points to 41%, likely reflecting the ease with which publishers can now embed video ads in, rather than above, their content.
Taken together, all these metrics point to a video ad ecosystem that is fast becoming more attractive to brand marketers looking to capture the attention of audiences, whether on-the-go or on the sofa.
Advertisers are beginning to see a more legitimate marketplace that is not only engaging viewers for longer but is also evolving into one which aligns more closely with the ad-buying goals they are used to in TV.
Add to this the ability to take advantage of new targeting and reporting capabilities, and it looks like we are emerging into a “best of both worlds” era.