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FreeWheel Report: Streaming TV Starting to Look Like Broadcast

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As streaming video options grow and become more popular, online video watching is starting to look a lot like traditional broadcast and cable TV watching. That's one finding from the Q4 2013 Video Monetization Report put out today by online monetization specialist FreeWheel.

Among the report's statistics is the finding that ad views in long-form content, defined as video over 20 minutes long, have grown 86 percent year-over-year. That eclipses the 22 percent growth in ad views on short form content (video up to 5 minutes long) and the 13 percent growth in ad views on mid-form content (video between 5 and 20 minutes long).

Viewers are increasingly turning to mobile devices for their online viewing, with smartphones showing a 178 percent year-over-year in ad views, and tablets showing a 136 percent increase. Desktop computers are still the most popular way to view online video, however, with 81 percent of all ad views. Phones received 10 percent of the total, tablets 7 percent, and connected TV devices only 2 percent. (This is only a measure of ad views, not overall usage, and Netflix doesn't show ads.)

As viewers get used to streamed video ads, publishers and advertisers are increasing the number of ads per break. In the last quarter of 2012, viewers averaged 2.8 ads per break in long-form content; one year later they averaged 3.2 ads per break. Despite that, ad completion rates remained strong, and are highest for long-form video.

Download the full Q4 2013 FreeWheel report for free (registration required).

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