Long-Form VOD and Live are Driving Growth for Broadcasters

FreeWheel’s quarterly State of the Industry Report always provides an interesting insight into what’s happening in the TV industry, although it’s important to stress that the findings should not be interpreted as what’s happening in the wider video industry. One of the major findings from the latest Q4 report was how long-form on-demand and live content, up 56 percent and 129 percent in Q4 2015 respectively, were the major drivers of growth for FreeWheel’s clients. This is something the online world needs to wake up to, and it’s going to be interesting to see if this growth encourages more web native publishers to follow the likes of Vice and Vevo in expanding into linear TV, whether it’s delivered via over-the-top (OTT) or set-top boxes (STBs).

There was also a digital milestone of sorts, as the majority of monetisation now comes from outside of desktop and laptop environments, representing 60 percent of video ad views, with over-the-top (OTT) devices and smartphones leading the way.

Those broadcasters who are set-top-box video on demand (STB VOD) dynamic ad insertion saw an average of 20 percent of their ad view volume come from these devices, making it the second largest device in video ad delivery for FreeWheel’s clients.

When it comes to comparing the US and European markets, the US is noticeably ahead when it comes to OTT adoption, while in Europe a higher proportion of content is consumed via tablets:
There are also some stark differences when it comes to viewing live content, with live making up just 0.3 percent of content in Europe, while it’s over a quarter of content consumed in the US:


Ads that weren’t sold directly – i.e. those sold via exchanges or ad networks – accounted for just 5 percent of inventory, which is hardly surprising for broadcasters. That said, FreeWheel noted that this portion has been growing considerably, at a steady pace of 141 percent.

When it comes to syndication of content, FreeWheel found that Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) apps are increasingly being used to distribute content and now accounting for 9 percent of all programmer ad views – monetisation on these apps increased 169 percent vs. Q4 2014.

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