Live TV and video is driving ad viewership – FreeWheel report


Audiences are engaging more with live TV and video across multiple devices across Europe and the US, which is leading to a rise in ad views in the connected TV market.

Live TV and video report

That’s according to the latest Video Marketplace Report (VMR) from FreeWheel, which highlights the changing dynamics of how enterprise-class content owners and distributors are monetising premium digital video content.

With FreeWheel’s extensive coverage and capabilities in Europe and the US, the data set included in this report is one of the largest available on the usage and monetisation of professional, rights-managed ad-supported video content across the two regions.

This edition of the VMR explores video advertising trends for the second half of 2023 (H2 2023) in select European countries and the US, with additional insight on the unique value proposition of the live, ad-supported environment.

Maintaining strong growth amid a softened global ad market, ad views across digital premium video in the two regions saw an 8% total uplift during the second half of 2023, with an impressive double-digit increase in Europe (17%) and 6% in the US.

Year-over-year analysis shows CTV ad views gained substantial traction in H2 2023 in both regions and especially so among European audiences, as flexible digital platforms become more popular: growing by 24% versus the same period in 2022 while the US has experienced a healthy rise of 10%.

There are also key regional differences in the rapidly expanding opportunities offered by the growth of ad views across live premium video.

The vast majority of general ad views (82%) happen on larger screens for US audiences, with CTV making up 84% of American live ad views.

Conversely, Europe experiences an even split between large (53%) and small screens (47%), highlighting the real-time engagement opportunity across multiple screens.

The fluid engagement of live audiences across devices represents a significant opportunity for brands and publishers to generate more synergies on the main screen and beyond.

This is a trend that is set to become even more pronounced this year in Europe, with an increased offering of FAST channels and live content, as well as the approach of the Olympic Games.

Regional variations in live ad views also hinge on the progress in programmatic trading and the use of FAST channels, with the US seeing 38% of live ad views transacted programmatically and FAST channels accounting for 25% of distribution, compared to 22% and 7.5% in Europe respectively. Overall, programmatic ad views grew 50% YOY in Europe.