- RTB Video Growing: Pre-roll video advertising inventory available for real-time buying is expanding rapidly, growing 13.8% per month in the second quarter of 2012 and topping 29.9 million streams per day in July.
- CPMs Declining: Reflecting expanded inventory, CPMs declined to £4.97 in the second quarter from £6.47 in the first quarter of 2012.
- Optimal Time to Buy: Weekends are a relative bargain to video advertisers, representing 29.4% of the week’s video viewing but having the lowest prevailing CPMs at £5.40.
- Context: comScore 100 Video Metrix sites are not the best proxy for getting viewers to watch an entire ad.
The complexity marketers face in video advertising is seemingly endless. Given the plethora of options available, TubeMogul is often asked: what is the size and direction of the real-time video market, and where should a brand marketer buy to maximise impact, all else being equal?
For its part, TubeMogul offers a wealth of tools for marketers to make their own decisions, including real-time statistics of what inventory is available by daily impressions, format, price, supply source and more, as well as the company’s built-in optimisation to automatically shift spending to where an ad is having its biggest impact.
But for marketers staring at big site lists and multiple vendors offering seemingly the same thing, questions often remain. Where are prices headed and when is the optimal time to buy? How much inventory is available? Is the comScore top 100 (which TubeMogul found represents 29% of all streams available for real-time buying), a useful proxy for performance? Are TubeMogul’s content tiers, which are compiled by a team of editors rating site quality, a good proxy?
The company decided to leverage its own data to begin to answer.
Data for this study comes from campaigns run through TubeMogul’s media buying platform, spanning tens of millions of streams from standard pre-roll video ads hailing from hundreds of top brands. All data is from the first and second quarters of 2012 and is UK-specific.
CPMs are compiled from average clearing prices for sites on the leading private and public exchanges, spanning billions of bids. As such, they reflect the raw cost (i.e. what goes directly to the publisher), before TubeMogul’s transparent cost is added, or fees from rich media, 3rd-party targeting, brand survey or other partners.
Site tiers are used for comparison purposes. Tiers are content quality proxies compiled by TubeMogul’s team, which manually reviews each site to rank content quality and context. Tier one sites are major broadcasters, officially-streamed music videos, cable networks, sports broadcasts and major news outlets -- publishers that most Britons would recognize. YouTube channels of tier one publishers are also included if they are streaming major content. Tier two sites are publishers that have high quality content (often high-trafficked online-only outlets), and tier three sites are niche or “long tail” video outlets that often cater to narrower interests.
Inventory Available and Price Trends
Overall, pre-roll video ads available for realtime buying across devices continues to expand, averaging over 29.9 million daily average impressions in July and growing by an average of 13.8% per month in 2012.
Impact by Site Tier
Context, although an imperfect proxy, clearly affects performance, with tradeoffs depending on a marketer’s goals.
Broadly, the data presents a clear picture: real-time video advertising inventory is growing rapidly, and current trends suggest it is a relatively good time to buy.
While context is a large part of any brand advertising campaign and this research indicates several best practices around site categories and timing, the small variances in the results suggest that where an ad runs is clearly an imperfect proxy at best for engagement. In part, this is why a media buying platform’s emphasis on transparency matters—only when viewed in the context of the wide range of targeting and optimisation options that real-time buying makes possible, as well as variances in performance of the ad creative itself, can marketers begin to make the right tradeoffs.
The nex t series will focus on brand surveys and lift in awareness and purchase consideration.