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Connected TV Dominates 30-Second Video Ad Impressions

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Extreme Reach (ER) today released the findings of its Q3 2020 Benchmarks Report, which includes ad performance data for impressions served from its AdBridge™ platform to CTV, desktop, and mobile devices for July through September.  

Key findings from the report include:

  • CTV leads in the share of impressions by device: At 39%, the share of impressions served to CTV continues to lead other devices. ER sees a wide range of preferred devices across its client base with some clients devoting as much as 72% of their impressions to CTV, while others focus largely on desktop and mobile. Because ER is the ad server of record for so many Direct-to-Consumer brands that optimize in real-time to measurable behaviors, the data includes a wide variety of strategies for CTV. The aggregate share of impressions across all ER clients served to CTV remained nearly flat from Q2 to Q3.
  • 30-second ads remain the preferred ad length for advertisers: Data from the report indicates that 30-second ads accounted for 81% of ad impressions served by Extreme Reach in Q3 2020, compared to 79% in Q2 and 66% in Q3 2019. This marks an all-time high and the continuation of a trend that began in Q2 2018, when 30-second ads first overtook 15-second spots in ER's quarterly report.
  • Desktop benefits as WFH continues due to COVID-19: In Q3, desktop accounted for 21% of ad impressions, a 40% YOY increase. As remote environments for work and study remain the norm, ER sees more impressions going to desktop to achieve brand goals as consumer behavior adapts to the new digital and virtual environment. Video completion rates (VCR) for ads on desktop remained steady at 70%, though lower than rates seen for mobile app and CTV (where skipping ads is generally not an option).
  • Media aggregators hit a new high: Similar to the growth seen in Q2 2020, media aggregators surged to 47% in Q3, an increase from 35% in Q2 and just 20% in Q3 2019. While premium publishers still lead in share of impressions served, at 53%, this is the lowest percentage reported for premium publishers since Extreme Reach's first report in Q1 2017.

"2020 continues to bring challenges to marketers and each quarter our data reflects shifts in strategy to account for the current circumstances," said Mary Vestewig, Senior Director, Video Account Management at Extreme Reach. "We see many digital native DTC brands focused on attribution and favoring ads on mobile and desktop over CTV. Others, looking to grow brand awareness, invest far more heavily in CTV. What's clear is that no single media mix suits every client and I believe that remains a constant even as many factors in digital advertising evolve and change." 

Extreme Reach's Q3 2020 Video Benchmark Report is based on the aggregate performance metrics from AdBridge™, which tracks campaigns for a diverse set of brands across multiple categories. The full report, which provides an industry-wide snapshot and identifies trends across performance metrics such as video ad completion and general invalid traffic rates as well as breakdowns by media destination (premium publisher vs. media aggregator) and device (desktop, mobile, mobile app, tablet, and CTV), is available for download here.

[Editor's note: This is a lightly edited press release.]

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