Five Highlights from the FreeWheel VMR: Q2 2017
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David Dworin
By David Dworin,
VP, Advisory Services,
FreeWheel

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.

But the optimistic results counterbalanced warnings by media executives about the threats faced by the TV advertising market. Joe Marchese, president of advertising revenue at Fox Networks Group, warned at their upfront about a forthcoming advertising “sub-prime crisis” that is “represented by unviewable ads and unsavory content entering our ecosystem. All compounded by ad blockers, DVRs and growing ad-free options.”

In the face of these challenges, premium video publishers have doubled down on their efforts to demonstrate superior value and develop creative products that advance advertiser goals.

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Here are five highlights from the FreeWheel Video Monetization Report: Q2 2017 (VMR) that demonstrate the strong performance of premium video ad monetization in the context of change and innovation:

  1. Premium ad views grew at 17% year-over-year, driven by strong double-digit growth of full-episode and live stream monetization.
  2. For the second consecutive quarter, over-the-top (OTT) devices claimed the title of largest platform for premium video monetization, growing 32% year-over-year.
  3. The mix of syndication channels shifted in favor of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). Ad views on MVPD platforms grew 39% year-over-year in Q2 2017, driven by the launch of new digital direct-to-consumer offerings.
  4. Programmatic accounted for 11% of ad views overall with private marketplaces overwhelmingly preferred as the transaction model for programmatic deals.
  5. Viewers completed 97% of mid-roll ads in full-episode content and 92% in live streams. Mid-roll ad loads stayed at around four per break and only 16% of ads repeated during a full-episode.

Even with the content and device landscape looking markedly different than in the recent past, premium video is well positioned to overcome industry headwinds and deliver another great season.

Download the report for the full picture on the latest trends impacting The New TV Ecosystem.

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