Insights

FreeWheel U.S. Video
Marketplace Report: H1 2021

The Viewer Evolution

And How the Premium Video Marketplace Has Responded

As 2021 unfolds, the world is charting a path forward with the lessons of 2020 solidly in mind. In addition to the pandemic, advances in technology and political turbulence contributed to disrupting and reshaping how consumers access, consume and respond to entertainment and information. While consumers adjusted to a new pace of life, the premium video ecosystem took the opportunity to adjust, leaning into digital and ad-supported services to keep consumers connected, entertained and informed.

FreeWheel’s latest Video Marketplace Report explores how the premium video marketplace responded to the ongoing evolution of viewership in first-half 2021. There has been a shift in how people watch video with the growth of CTV viewership and the launch of new streaming platforms offering more TV-quality programming. Direct-to-consumer streaming services make up 45% of ad views by distribution platform, edging ahead of TV everywhere which held the majority share versus the same time period last year.

As consumer habits evolved, so did advertising approaches. In terms of the marketplace, as the world emerges from an unpredictable year, buyers went into the upfronts seeking flexibility and automation, with an increased focus on programmatic transactions. Programmatic transactions resulted in 24% of premium video ad views, representing a 84% YOY growth.

The industry is at the beginning of a long-term, data-driven evolution of how advertising and marketing is optimized. Keeping up in the industry will require focus on the data that provides insight into viewer behavior and what impacts it, and enables the reach, targeting and reporting that marketers crave.

Download the report for a deeper look at the trends shaping our industry based on FreeWheel’s unparalleled data set.