If you’re an advertiser, you know that not all audiences can be regarded the same way, especially when they live in different parts of the world. As audiences’ viewing preferences continue to evolve, advertisers must also pay attention to global distribution trends.
In both the United States (US) and Europe (EUR), multiscreen advertising continues to be the most effective way to reach audiences. The two regions have a lot in common when it comes to viewing trends. For instance, ad views are growing across borders: In 2022, the US reported a 7% year-over-year (YOY) increase in ad views, while EUR climbed into the double digits with a 13% increase.1 Plus, when combined, connected television (CTV) and set-top box video on demand (STB VOD) led ad views by device in both the US (82%) and EUR (56%), indicating similarities in viewing habits.1
Clearly, viewers in both the US and EUR favor viewing their favorite content on the big screen, presenting advertisers around the globe with myriad opportunities for reaching them. But what sets these two regions apart?
Nuances Across Ponds:
Trends in the US and Europe
- Distribution: In EUR, a whopping 80% of ad views required operator authentication through paywalls, compared to only 38% in the US. There, over-the-top (OTT) made up the remaining 62% of ad views by distribution platform.1
- FAST: Publishers in the US have taken advantage of platforms like free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) to increase monetization opportunities. In EUR though, FAST hasn’t yet reached the US’s 30% of ad views, it is on the rise, already representing a robust 8%.1
- Linear vs. digital: European audiences still favor the big-screen and tend to favor long-form entertainment viewing. While live content is not yet the norm, it has been growing steadily over the years to reach over a fifth of ad views. In the US, the convergence of linear and digital continues to create opportunities for integrated campaigns with high-quality content.1
- Programmatic: In the US, programmatic ad views have increased 12% YOY. The European market is not seeing much growth in programmatic, with almost 9 in 10 transactions occurring through I/Os. In fact, both markets prefer direct and programmatic guaranteed deals, with EUR expected to record further expansion in this area, as digital trends point toward growth in the near future.1
Tackling Targeting Differences
Around the globe, first-party data is becoming more accessible than ever, leading to advancements in audience targeting. Due to stricter privacy regulations, advertisers in EUR rely heavily on targeting based on demographics like age and gender,2 accounting for 72% of targeted campaigns. The US sees the direct inverse of this trend, with 72% of targeted campaigns utilizing behavioral-based targeting, which identifies users based on buying habits and digital browsing.1
Alongside these tactics, advertisers across the board are testing contextual targeting, which places ads within content that is conceptually relevant. Viewers are demonstrating growing acceptance for these types of ads, indicating yet another area of opportunity for advanced audience targeting.
As platforms like FAST continue to grow and revolutionize ad distribution for buyers and sellers across the globe, one thing remains clear: viewers still crave the live, linear experience reminiscent of a cable subscription.
Buyers in both markets should plan to double down on programmatic, especially in the US, and continue investing in FAST as it experiences rapid growth. Meanwhile, sellers in both markets should expect programmatic guaranteed deals to expand and continue pushing buyers toward CTV, as its growth shows no signs of slowing down.
For additional cross-region insights, download the latest Video Marketplace Report, FAST Channels Redefine Distribution.
- “FAST Channels Redefine Distribution.” Freewheel, 2022. https://www.freewheel.com/insights/reports/freewheel-video-marketplace-report-2h-2022.
- “European Parliament pushes to ban targeted ads based on health, religion or sexual orientation.” Politico, Jan. 20, 2022. https://www.politico.eu/article/european-parliament-bans-use-of-sensitive-personal-data-for-targeted-ads/