Roughly a third of all video ads being served right now come from Innovid, a New York-based ad serving and management platform.
I recently asked Innovid CTO and co-founder Tal Chalozin to brief us on the latest digital video ad trends.
Paul Talbot: You’re sitting in a box seat with a rare view of what’s happening right now with TV and video advertising. What strikes you as significant?
Tal Chalozin: We’ve seen many of the trends from the past few quarters accelerate over the last several weeks. Take the move to CTV, for example.
With the loss of live TV sports during coronavirus, we’re seeing an increase in cord-cutting. In March, CTV became the largest ‘device category’ for the first time ever, growing 69% YoY and now representing about half of overall video ad impressions across all publishers and media types.
CTV continues to grow significantly YoY despite a down market. In May, CTV impression volume grew 44% YoY counter to declining volume across mobile (-13%) and desktop (-19%) device types. This means that when a marketer buys ‘digital video ads,’ chances are that it will be displayed on a TV screen. This has a massive impact on many forms of digital marketing, including targeting, creative messaging, attribution and more.
Talbot: Viewer engagement can sometimes be messy to measure. That said, has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way consumers engage with marketing content?
Chalozin: We have noticed a consistent jump in viewer ad interaction across all devices beginning on 3/16. This date coincides with the start of most people working from home and most states closing schools.
From the same time period last year, we’ve seen an average increase of 11% in daily ad interaction rates, which looks at mouse click, tap or remote actions on CTV. As CTV continues to grow rapidly during this pandemic, we encourage marketers to consider CTV to reach engaged consumers.
Talbot: To what extent are marketers swapping out creative and replacing previous creative with COVID-19 related content?
Chalozin: We are seeing that happening across the board quite often now. There are several uses we’ve noticed. First is in cases of non-relevant messaging like sports sponsorship/promotion, events and out-of-home activities.
Second are cases of business model or distribution channels. QSR brands have heavily shifted to providing to consumers via drive – throughout delivery and many entertainment companies have moved to streaming content. Many brands, across the board, are also pushing social good references like wireless carriers removing bandwidth cap and brands supporting different healthcare activities and manufacturing aids.
Lastly, we’ve seen many brands tap into dynamic content to drive georelevant messaging based on a viewer’s location. By tapping into location data, these brands, most notably automotive, are able to deliver a CTA aligned with the viewer’s local dealership status, such as service centers open, dealerships open or shop online.
This can all be driven off a data feed and updated in real-time as individual store location statuses change without having to retraffic campaigns saving time and improving relevance.
Talbot: The way we’re using devices and how we’re watching video… any noteworthy shifts over the past month?
Chalozin: In addition to the CTV trend, we’ve also noticed a big change in the way that PCs and laptops are being used.
While in May CTV grew 44% YoY, we saw YoY declines in mobile (-13%) and desktop (-19%).
Normally, these devices were being primarily used as a ‘weekday’ device, likely for work purposes, with a massive 34% drop in use from weekday to weekend. During this pandemic, we have seen that flatten to a 17% drop as consumers are spending more time in front of screens consuming video content while at home.
CTV is not only driving YoY growth, but it’s also frequently capturing the largest share of overall impressions, ranging from 39 – 49% of total impression share throughout the month of May.
Talbot: Any other observations you’d like to share?
Chalozin: Despite advertising concerns during COVID, our platform has actually seen a 44% YoY increase in CTV ad volume throughout the month of May. In terms of interesting vertical finds, according to our Innovid iQ dashboard, telecom saw the largest growth YoY (+103%) followed by CPG (+50%) and Finance (+12%).
Across all three categories, CTV significantly surpassed other device type growth rates most notably for telecom with CTV growing 219% YoY outpacing mobile (+30%) and PC (+10%) annual growth in May.