As technology allows viewers to access the premium video content they want whenever and wherever they want to watch it, the delineation between traditional TV and digital video is becoming increasingly blurry. Premium video retains TV’s power to engage audiences and provide the best environment for marketers to tell their stories, while also bringing the dynamic ad delivery and data-enablement capabilities of digital environments.
In the late 2000’s the targeting and measurement capabilities offered by digital advertising captured meaningful revenue from traditional media, especially for direct response marketers, while large-scale brand marketers continued to value the broad reach of television. This has left space for a solution that offers marketers efficient access to audiences at scale, but also allows them to use data to target and optimize campaigns for objectives across the marketing funnel.
There is now a call to action for marketers, content owners, distributors, measurement companies and tech providers to come together to deliver data-enabled TV. In 2019, addressable advertising, when video ads are delivered using household-level data, is a particularly big focus area. At Cannes this June, Comcast announced an initiative dubbed ‘On Addressability’ with the goal to work with programmers to scale addressability beyond the two-minutes per hour of local commercial airtime MVPDs utilize today.
For the first time at FreeWheel, we have begun to track the growth of audience-targeted campaigns in our quarterly Video Marketplace Report, with the latest edition titled “Audiences Come to Premium Video.” Audience targeted campaigns that deliver ads to specific devices, households or users grew almost 2.5 times faster than the overall premium video market.
FreeWheel’s data also demonstrated that premium video is solidifying its high level of engagement and value to marketers, with over 85% of ad delivery now occurring in-app environments on mobile and tablet or on television screens from connected TVs and set-top boxes. In these environments where the content takes up the whole screen, viewers are less able to scroll away from ads, and ad completion rates for full-episodes are well over 90%.
Audience-based and addressable advertising is growing rapidly and represents the next frontier for premium video. Through this data-enablement, buyers will be able to reach more incremental users with their budgets, as well as target households and individuals that are most conducive to their full-funnel advertising goals. As technology matures and industry players overcome barriers to adoption, we expect audience-targeted campaigns to continue to outpace broader industry growth.