Report asserts ‘significant opportunity’ with OTT advertising monetisation

Over the top (OTT) services have completed their rise to dominance – and it’s up to brands to get their act together.

That’s according to a new report from FreeWheel, which finds that viewers complete 98% of all premium video adverts on OTT, as well as providing a generally greater lift in brand awareness on campaigns compared against desktop and mobile.

The study, which collated data from customers of FreeWheel, a subsidiary of Comcast, also shed light on trends associated with OTT viewing. It’s worth noting for clarity what the report defines as OTT; attached devices, such as Apple TV and Chromecast, which make up 84% of ad views, gaming consoles (11% of views) and smart TVs (5%).

The report notes ‘significant opportunity’ to drive monetisation across smart TVs and gaming consoles, citing a recent comScore study which puts their penetration in US Wi-Fi households at 30% and 28% respectively. OTT services also provide a more attractive demographic than traditional TV viewers; a median age of 31 compared with 54, and a median household income almost $10,000 higher, according to a recent Nielsen Npower study.

Alongside the overwhelming completion rate, viewers are more likely to be glued to their OTT screens; 36% of those analysed had more than 60 minutes per session, compared to 19% for 30-60 minutes, 20% for 10-30, and 25% for less than 10. For viewers who watch an hour or more per visit, 60% of that time is spent watching live streamed content.

“We believe that the future of TV will marry the best of linear and digital and when OTT is transacting at scale with more standardised measurement, it will realise its full potential for brand marketers,” said Jonathan Bokor, SVP director of precision video at communications group Publicis Media Exchange. “Today, despite the measurement challenges, it represents incremental reach and value for our clients, and we continue to seek out creative solutions to tap into these audiences.”

“OTT holds a world of promise for publishers and advertisers alike,” the report added. “By bringing together the best of what digital video and linear television have to offer, these devices provide a preview of how the future of premium video will unfold.”

A report from Level 3 Communications in April said that more hours will be logged watching linear streaming OTT video than traditional television by 2022. FreeWheel noted that in the first quarter of this year, OTT devices surpassed desktop as the leading digital platform for premium video ad views in the US.

You can find out more about the report here.

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