Five Highlights from the Video Monetization Report: Q3 2016

James Rothwell VP, Marketing, Comcast Advertising

There’s no denying that 2016 has been a unique 12 months in the premium video industry as trends in consumer viewing behavior shift and new platforms and technologies emerge. As we review these evolving trends in our Video Monetization Report: Q3 2016, we’re able to provide the insights the industry needs to move forward.

Q3 2016: A Unique Quarter in a Unique Year

  1. The U.S. election and live sports, in particular the Olympics, have heavily shaped many of the trends outlined within the report. As a result, we saw major viewing increases in both short-form (+31%) and live (+60%) content. Further evidence of the influence of these two events: news saw ad views increase +45% YOY and sports +76% YOY in Q3, illustrating the impact that major televised events have on the way people consume video.
  1. In Q3 we observed an increase of +28% YOY in ad views and +37% YOY in video views. In previous quarters these two metrics have typically increased in proportion to one another. This new development can be attributed to Q3’s unique trend in short-form growth, which is monetized with fewer ads than long-form content.
  1. Audiences are often choosing the biggest screen available to watch their favorite content indicated by Q3’s increasing ad views for both set-top box video on demand (+103% YOY) for Programmers who have enabled dynamic ad insertion, and over-the-top devices (+63% YOY). More expansive content libraries, better familiarity with TV Everywhere (TVE) options and general device adoption also contribute to growth in this arena. However, desktop did see modest YOY growth at 11% YOY, likely as a result of users catching up on news and other content while at work.
  1. Programmers are transacting more with automation (+92% YOY) – but it still remains a relatively small part of their overall monetization strategy (7.3% of ad views). So while Programmers are utilizing automated trading channels like private marketplaces, risk and control remain key drivers of their programmatic strategies.
  1. Previous quarters have shown that authentication levels through TVE have often seen step changes of adoption due to large sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup. As anticipated in the VMR: Q2 2016, the Olympics played a large role in driving authentication rates back up to their all-time high of 72% in Q3– further proof that viewers are becoming more and more comfortable going behind the wall to access premium content. Will 72% stay consistent as the new normal, or will levels dip back down until the next major event? We’ll have the answer to that question next quarter.

Take full advantage of our data and insights by downloading the VMR Q3:2016 and stay tuned for further conversation about this quarter’s analysis.