Music video network Vevo has chosen ad measurement provider iSpot to quantify connected TV audiences and authenticate the incremental reach of advertisers’ campaigns running on Vevo. CTV has been a major source of growth for Vevo with viewership up 30% globally and up 58% in the U.S. in 2020.
Crackle Plus is expanding its relationship with video supply-side platform SpotX to help monetize new distribution across a variety of free ad-supported streaming TV (“FAST”) services, the companies announced this morning. Crackle Plus is now available on 29 devices and services and has announced deals with fuboTV, Philo, VIDAA, VIZIO and Xumo which it estimates will expose Crackle Plus networks to over 60 million new viewers in 2021.
If you’re looking to better understand the underlying challenges of unifying buying and selling video advertising across linear TV and streaming TV, FreeWheel released a valuable report last week called “The Definitive Guide to Unified Video.”
The report is especially timely as the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of streaming and linear ratings continue to fall. As a result, advertisers are working harder to build effective campaigns, especially those that can reach younger audiences. TV networks are adapting by delivering their content directly to audiences through digital services, often with ad support. Linear will continue to be a sizable though shrinking part of the viewership pie over time, while streaming will increase. So figuring out how to unify buying and selling across the two during the transition period and beyond is critically important.
Video ad impressions by device were redistributed in 2020 vs 2019 according to Extreme Reach’s new Video Benchmarks Report which is based on ad serving data from the company’s AdBridge platform. The biggest changes included video ad impressions on desktop increasing from 16% share in 2019 to 22% share in 2020, while video ad impressions on CTVs dropped from 49% share in 2019 to 38% share in 2020. ER said the redistribution occurred as “work from home became the norm” due to the pandemic.
Topics: Extreme Reach
Last Thursday’s Q4 and 2020 earnings reports from The Trade Desk and Roku provide further evidence of connected TV advertising’s surge and also viewers’ significant adoption of streaming video. Because the two companies are heavily invested in connected TV advertising and provide lots of thoughtful insights on their earnings calls (transcripts here and here), their results and sentiments are valuable in gauging the state of the market. Together they provide a holistic picture of the market since The Trade Desk operates on the demand side and Roku on the supply side (primarily).
For some time, The Trade Desk has talked about the rising importance of CTV advertising on its overall business, which continued this quarter with the pandemic accelerating key trends. Founder and CEO Jeff Green said that advertisers’ CTV spending on the platform more than doubled in 2020 (total spend, including CTV, was $4.2 billion with Q4 revenue up 48% to $320 million). Green said “more than 1,000 brands spend at least $100,000 on CTV on our platform” and that “those brands spending more than $1 million on our platform in 2020 more than doubled from a year ago.”
Welcome to the 549th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
On this week’s podcast, Colin and I dig into Roku’s strong Q4 and full year 2020 results which were reported yesterday. As has been the case for the past several years, “platform” revenue, which includes Roku’s advertising business, led the way. Platform revenue reached $471.2 million in the quarter, up 81% year-over-year. The Roku Channel was another bright spot for the company in Q4, with 175 ad-supported virtual linear channels now included.
We discuss these and other topics, including whether Roku’s interest in original content could cause conflicts with existing content partners.
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As we begin to wrap up the first quarter of 2021, it is clear that the industry’s relationship with CTV will continue to challenge advertisers as they look to capture viewers across screens and keep pace with cord-cutters. In addition to a few wishes that we spend less time in the coming year in virtual meetings and more time together in-person and that we can gather safely for the industry events that help us grow relationships, I also have a few wishes and predictions for the programmatic CTV rocket ship, a bright spot in 2020 and a continued area of momentum for the advertising industry in the year to come.
Wurl posted record results in 2020, powering free streaming linear TV channels to a variety of popular connected TVs (what Wurl calls its “Wurl Network”). Wurl launched 539 channels in 2020, including 220 in Q4 alone. It now delivers over 700 channels from approximately 150 different content producers and TV networks.
Wurl’s channel model demonstrates that despite all of the attention paid to SVOD viewership (e.g. Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, etc.), consumption isn’t monolithic; in fact viewers often still crave free, lean-back, programmed TV experiences where they can press play once and then sit back and enjoy. Industry analysts have sometimes called these channels “virtual linear” or “free ad-supported TV” (FAST).
Last week Alphabet reported that YouTube's global ad revenues hit a record $6.9 billion in Q4 '20, up 47% from Q4 '19. For perspective on YouTube's and the market's growth, I interviewed Brian Atwood, who was just appointed Pixability's new Chief Revenue Officer. If you're not familiar with Pixability, it provides software and insights for video ad buyers to target and optimize their campaigns on YouTube, YouTube on connected TVs, Amazon Fire and Roku. It also just had a record year of growth and profitability.
VideoNuze: Congratulations on joining Pixability. What excited you about the company?
Brian Atwood: I’ve been working in the YouTube and Connected TV space for over four years now and I have always been impressed with Pixability’s unique targeting solutions, performance optimization and insights. I feel like there is no company better positioned to help brands and agencies navigate the big shifts we’re seeing in the market. More than anything, I’m looking forward to working with the people. They’ve assembled an outstanding team that is incredibly well respected in the industry.
Last Friday’s announcement that Magnite is acquiring SpotX from RTL Group for almost $1.2 billion was further evidence of connected TV advertising’s momentum and the combined company’s market opportunity. Considering Magnite’s pro forma financial results with eMarketer’s forecast of CTV ad revenue shows how much potential growth lies ahead for the combined company.
In its release, Magnite said the combined company would have $42 million of pro forma CTV ad revenue ($15.3 million from Magnite and around $27 million from SpotX) in Q4 ’20. Magnite also said the $42 million would have represented around 34% of Q4’s revenue for the combined company. It further said the combined company would have had pro forma revenue for 2020 of $350 million, so applying the same 34% proportion, the combined company would have had approximately $119 million in CTV revenue in 2020.
Welcome to the 547th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
A couple of weeks ago on our podcast, Colin and I discussed how both AVOD and SVOD services keep growing strongly. This week we explore two specific examples. In AVOD, YouTube’s ad revenue hit $6.9 billion in Q4 ’20, up 46% and for the full year ad revenue hit $19.8 billion, up 31% from 2019.
Meanwhile Crunchyroll, the anime OTT service, announced it’s up to 4 million subscribers, adding a million in the past 6 months, a record growth rate. Like many other streaming services, Crunchyroll appears to be benefiting from Covid. Colin and I explore what’s behind both companies’ success and where things go from here.
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Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 29 seconds)
YouTube advertising revenue grew to $6.9 billion in Q4 ’20, up 46% from $4.7 billion in Q4 ’19. YouTube’s results were reported as part of parent company Alphabet’s Q4 ’20 and full year 2020 earnings released yesterday. YouTube’s ad revenue accounted for 15% of Google’s total ad revenue of $46.2 billion in Q4 ’20, up from 12.4% of Google’s total ad revenue of n Q4 ’19.
Critical to YouTube’s ad growth is the macro trend of reduced linear TV viewing, especially among younger audiences. This makes it harder than ever for brands to reach these viewers, a tailwind that is helping all ad-supported streaming services.
Sell-side ad platform Magnite has unveiled an open beta of its “Unified Decisioning” solution which gives CTV and OTT publishers the ability to have direct sold and programmatic demand compete for available inventory. By doing so publishers can maximize yield while the decisioning still respects deal priority and business rules such as frequency capping and competitive separation.
Paige Bilins, Magnite’s VP of Video Product Management said “publishers are eager to tap into the efficiencies that programmatic provides without relinquishing the control they are used to when selling directly to buyers.” Magnite said that Unified Decisioning works with all major ad servers.
Welcome to the 545th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
AVOD services are growing strongly, yet linear TV still accounts for 90% of video ad spending. This week Colin and I discuss a new report from Tubi that details how advertisers can now only reach a sizable share of younger audiences by shifting more spending to AVOD. With AVOD services poised to grow even further in ’21, advertisers will be pressed to reevaluate their spending decisions.
Meanwhile, it’s not just AVOD that’s growing, it’s SVOD too, as Netflix’s Q4 and full year earnings report underscored. Netflix added nearly 37 million subscribers, with international making the biggest contribution. We dig into the highlights of the report, including analysis of differences in Netflix’s results by region.
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Tubi’s new audience report “The Stream: 2021 Actionable Audience Insights for Brands” makes a compelling case that streaming gives advertisers incremental reach to younger viewers and that Tubi itself is a strong complement to linear TV advertising. The broad industry trends are well-understood: for younger audiences especially, cord-cutting is up, linear viewing is down and streaming is soaring. All of this means advertisers are having a harder time reaching younger viewers.
Specifically, Tubi revealed that 48% of its viewers don’t have pay-TV, contributing to Tubi’s growth to 33 million monthly active users in 2020, with 2.5 billion hours streamed across its 30K titles. Importantly, Tubi’s audience is over 20 years younger on average than linear TV viewers. Tubi said that 80% of its streamers can’t be reached via the top 25 cable TV networks, 68% can’t be reached via other AVOD services, and 64% can’t be reached via Fox, Tubi’s parent. Tubi also noted that 84% of its viewers watch Tubi on a connected TV.
Topics: Tubi TV
FreeWheel’s Council for Premium Video has published a new report, “The Evolution of Streaming,” which outlines streaming’s rise over the past decade and describes four attributes that need to be addressed to fully unlock video advertising’s potential. These include Scale and Unification, Audience Targeting, Quality, Viewability and Fraud, and Audience Measurement.
In the political arena, the 2020 U.S. election may seem like the event that never ends. But for the ad-supported streaming video category, a surge of political advertising has now subsided, returning the fast-growing AVOD business to something approaching normalcy.
What “normal” means in the AVOD camp is different, of course, from the broader ad-supported television economy. For one thing, AVOD participants like ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV and the Crackle video service tend to insert significantly fewer advertisements per hourly viewing session than what viewers elsewhere have come to expect. An ad-load analysis for November shows that even though these two services topped the AVOD charts for total ad time, their totals remain well less than the 16 minutes or more per hour typically seen in the national television network ecosystem.
Connected TV’s ad impression share remained steady in Q3 2020 compared with Q2 2020 according to Extreme Reach’s new Video Benchmarks Report which is based on ad serving data from the company’s AdBridge platform.
CTVs accounted for 39% of impressions in Q3 ’20, essentially flat vs. 40% in Q2 ’20 and 37% in Q1 ’20. However CTV impressions were down from their peak of 51% share in Q3 ’19. Extreme Reach noted that the share reflects a “wide variety of strategies” for how its clients use CTV. The span includes clients who allocate as much as 72% of their impressions to CTV and others that focus on desktop and mobile.
Topics: Extreme Reach
TV ad measurement provider iSpot has enhanced its unified ad measurement capability allowing brands to more accurately gauge incremental reach and effectiveness of cross-screen campaigns. iSpot has integrated demographic data into its Unified Measurement platform to provide person-level cross-screen ad measurement in real time across linear TV and 300+ streaming services. This includes age, gender, household occupancy and co-viewing measurement.
Nielsen has unveiled Nielsen ONE, a single measurement solution that will span linear and digital video viewership. According to its press release, Nielsen ONE will give marketers “visibility into total video consumption regardless of platform or device.” Nielsen said the new solution comes as advertisers are “demanding a single deduplicated view of their audiences across all platforms and mediums.”
Nielsen ONE won’t launch until fourth quarter, 2022. At that time Nielsen will start releasing parallel “cross-media ratings that will deliver metrics at subminute intervals for individual ads and content.” The goal is for Nielsen ONE to become the “foundation of the cross-media buying and selling process, succeeding the current form of TV and digital measurement no later than the Fall 2024 season.”