Premium video grows across Europe
Joseph O'Halloran
| 22 March 2018

The explosion of set-top box (STB)-based video-on-demand (VOD) and growing popularity of live content have seen European advertising views rise by a fifth over Q4 2017 says the Video Monetisation Report (VMR) from FreeWheel.

The advertising management solution provider’s survey, which looks at the performance of premium video for the whole of 2017, as well as including figures for the last quarter, found premium video advertising growing at what it called an ‘impressive’ rate in Europe, up by 20% across the year. This compares with a 22% growth in the US during 2017.

One of the key drivers cited for the growth was the migration of IP-delivered content to the big screen and the increased popularity of live streaming. Other key trends were the big screen continuing to grow in importance for premium video, live content acting as a new contributor to premium video’s continued success in Europe and continued collaboration within the industry.

The VMR showed that STB VOD and over-the-top (OTT) delivery had a combined 37% share of ad views in Europe, with the former having 154% year on year growth in ad views. Live content boasted 45% and 30% growth for video and ad views respectively, driven by publishers using tent-pole events to push the growth of live viewing. The industry also benefited from the strengthening of operator syndication agreements and the forming of alliances, such as the European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX). Premium broadcasters are joining forces, and also forging partnerships with operators to maximise inventory.

Ad views from clips increased 119% year-on-year saw in the European region in Q4, representing 21% of the market. Programmatic video was up 24% year-on-year and now holds around a fifth of ad view share. By way on contrast, the US market also saw positive growth of 29% year-on-year, but this still only accounts for 10% of ad views.

The survey did however note that the year saw a decrease in ad loads within premium video content to maintain the positive balance between monetisation and viewer experience. On average, viewers in Europe experienced 4.63 ads per long-form break in Q4, compared to 5.95 ads per break in Q4 2016; equating to a reduction of 42 seconds.

FreeWheel concluded that the continued growth of premium video was a result of continued technological innovation in the industry, plus the fact that advertisers and agencies were demanding more premium video inventory, leading to greater creative diversity and falling ad repetition rates.

Commenting on the FreeWheel Video Monetisation Report Thomas Bremond, general manager, international, of FreeWheel parent company Comcast, said: “Following a year when transparency and brand safety hit the headlines, it is time for TV and digital to learn from each other to provide a better advertising experience for viewers. Premium video content can make this connection by combining the high-quality, fraud-free environment of TV with the data-driven programmatic capabilities of digital.”