FreeWheel has released its U.S. Video Marketplace Report (VMR) for first half 2020, adding to the evidence that Americans staying at home due to Covid-19 are gravitating toward the big screen. Specifically, FreeWheel found that 73% of total ad views occurred on set-top box VOD and connected TVs. FreeWheel views Covid-19 “not as an agent of change, but rather an accelerant for audiences and advertisers.”
CTV share was 50% (up 42% year over year) with STB’s share 23% (up 13% YOY). Mobile had a 15% share of ad views (up 17% YOY) and desktop had 11% (down 2% YOY). FreeWheel said CTV usage was driven by higher consumption of premium video from virtual pay-TV operators (e.g. YouTube TV, Hulu Live, etc.) and direct-to-consumer apps.
Overall, FreeWheel found that in the first half of 2020 video ad views increased 32% and video views increased 17%. FreeWheel noted that ad views in live content (mainly news) increased 38% YOY, followed by long-form programming which was up 33% YOY. CTV viewing was dominated by long-form (77%), followed by live (18%) and clips (5%), whereas mobile saw a more even split, with live (40%), and long-form and clips both at 30%.
Completion rates remained strong at 99% for mid-rolls and 86% for pre-rolls. Mid-roll break duration of 112 seconds in first half 2020 was consistent vs. 110 seconds in Q1 ’18 and slightly higher than 96 seconds in Q1 ’19. There was an average of 3.5 ads per mid-roll break, roughly consistent with past years.
The full VMR can be downloaded here.