The Lines Between Linear and Digital TV Disappear: Takeaways from the FreeWheel Video Marketplace Report
Moving into 2019, the VMR has evolved from the Video Monetization Report to the Video Marketplace Report and now looks at trends across both linear TV and premium digital video, incorporating insights from both the buy-side and the sell-side. In this issue, we look back at 2018, which marked a big year in the convergence of the two.
This quarter the Video Monetization Report (VMR) is presented as a synopsis of the key trends that contributed to a strong third quarter for premium video as we moved from the summer into the fall viewing season. Accompanying this synopsis is a link to the full VMR quarterly data set, which has become the barometer for the industry. Moving forward we will bring you richer reports twice per year (in March and September), while continuing to provide data every quarter.
In Q2, premium video gained momentum as a marketing platform in both the U.S. and Europe as the TV industry continues to embrace technology and articulate its proposition across the full marketing funnel. During the 2018 U.S. Upfront buying season, CPMs increased across networks, with most reporting high single- or double-digit growth year-over-year. This demonstrates that advertisers see TV as a critical platform for their marketing success.
On March 21, our team was proud to launch the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2017 (VMR) with Year-End Insights. This expanded version of the VMR includes not just an in-depth look at the trends shaping the New TV Ecosystem both in the U.S. and in Europe, but also a 2017 Timeline showing the key events that moved the industry forward, and an analysis of how the industry changed over the course of the entire year. Read on for a snapshot of our findings, and for the full benefit of our unparalleled data set, download the complete report.
When it comes to video, viewers have more choice than ever in terms of what, where, when, and how they consume content. At the same time, advertisers have a wider array of channels through which they communicate with their intended audience. Premium publishers have responded to the increasingly competitive landscape by improving the value they deliver to both consumers and advertisers. They have made content available on a menagerie of devices, both on-demand and live, and through both traditional and new-to-market distribution partners. For advertisers, they continue to offer a brand-safe environment alongside high-quality, engaging, professionally produced content.
The television upfront season generates a great deal of anticipation, as it often foreshadows the performance of the wider premium video industry. This year, the U.S. TV upfront market outperformed expectations, increasing revenues by 6% over last year to reach $19.7Bn. Similar to how several of the new fall shows plan to bring viewers back to familiar territory, with throwback revivals, advertisers have gradually turned back to the TV ecosystem, both linear and digital, amidst concerns around the safety and effectiveness of other digital marketing channels.
Over the past two weeks since returning from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the stellar opportunities afforded by this truly unique global event. After all, Cannes Lions doesn’t just play host to the largest gathering to worldwide advertising professionals but also to 15,000 marketing and media executives— a collective intersection of advertising, entertainment, media, and technology unlike any other. South of France setting aside, is there a better setting for our global teams to bring industry leaders together to strategically drive the industry forward?
In the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2016 (VMR) we observed first-hand the tremendous growth of over-the-top (OTT) devices over the past two years. These connected devices have evolved from just 8% share of premium video ad views two years ago in Q4 2014 to a solid 27% in Q4 2016. The message from consumers to publishers aiming to increase viewership and buyers hoping to reach an engaged audience is clear: video will always have a home on the big screen.
The FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q4 2016 (VMR) launched on March 21st. The VMR takes a full-year look at 2016 as a whole, as well as quarter-specific trends, through the lens of general trends and themes that speak to the value of premium content and environments. For the 24th consecutive quarter, the upward trends in video continue, with no sign of slowing down. While our data highlights the opportunity in premium video, it also shines a light on just how complex managing a digital video business is today.
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.