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91% of video ads in India viewable on YouTube across mediums: Google study

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91% of video ads in India viewable on YouTube across mediums: Google study

Programmatic was once considered a performance marketing tool for low-quality display inventory, but is now a key strategy for the top brands, agencies, broadcasters and media companies, reveals a study conducted by Google across DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) and DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) platforms from Q4 of 2014 through Q4 of 2015.

85 of the Ad Age Top 100 advertisers in the US have turned to programmatic video on DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), the study reports.

Programmatic video revenue for TV and media companies increased over 550% in 2015 on DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). Changes in viewer behaviour have accelerated programmatic video spend With audiences viewing content across multiple screens, video impressions on mobile and tablet grew over 30X in 2015 on DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM).

The state of “Viewability” across Google’s video properties in 20 countries:

But if an ad isn't seen, it can't have an impact. The research also shows that many advertisers are still paying for video ad "impressions" -- ads that are merely served but not necessarily watched by anyone. Viewability* measures this. Video ad viewability varies significantly by country - with the exception of YouTube, which has consistently high levels of viewability globally:

YouTube: In India, 91% of video ads are viewable on YouTube across desktop, mobile, and tablet — now the global leader for video viewability. In 2015, 90% were viewable.

Rest of the web and apps: 67% of video ads in India are viewable on the web and apps (not including YouTube) across desktop, mobile, and tablet. In 2015, 79% were viewable.


Buyers and Sellers are turning to Programmatic Direct to transact premium video content premium publishers are using reservation style deals over programmatic pipes as a way to maintain control over their most premium inventory, while delivering on advertiser and agency demand for programmatic buying.

Brand safety is critical for brands buying programmatically and exchanges perform differently when it comes to filtering bad ads DoubleClick and Google disabled more than 780 million ads for policy violations in 2015. Spam rates vary significantly across the top ad exchanges, requiring broadcasters and advertisers to evaluate the exchanges they use to sell and buy inventory. Video viewability is improving but remains inconsistent across countries and exchanges The average viewability of YouTube ads globally has increased to an industry leading 93%.

Bad ads — carrying malware, covering up content or promoting fake goods — create a negative online experience for everyone. DoubleClick and Google combat bad ads with a robust set of ads policies and automated and manual content reviews. DBM automatically filters spam across all the video exchanges that it buys on. Our sophisticated technology and global team of experts disabled more than 780 million ads for violating DoubleClick and Google policies in 2015.

Not all video exchanges are equal

Average domain viewability and median domain viewability rates vary dramatically across the top seven exchanges where DBM buys video ads. Only one exchange has a median rate over 70%, and four exchanges are under 40%.

Implications for advertisers and agencies

As viewership fragments across services and devices, advertisers will increasingly need to embrace cross-screen programmatic video strategies to reach their audiences. Programmatic Direct allows advertisers to secure premium video inventory, including the most-watched content on YouTube, Google Preferred. Advertisers should protect themselves from fraud by evaluating the spam rates on the ad exchanges they use. Video ad viewability across the web and apps is on the rise; YouTube now has the highest video viewability of all major video platforms. While video viewability is increasing, there are significant variations by platform, market, and player size. To drive impact, advertisers should choose exchanges with high viewability and access to large player sizes.

Implications for broadcasters and media companies

To most effectively monetize the video and TV audience that’s becoming increasingly digital, broadcasters need to serve programmatic video ads in all of their digital content—including connected TV inventory. Private marketplaces, such as Google Partner Select, offer a way for broadcasters and media companies to deliver the automation and data insights that advertisers and agencies want while maintaining careful control over their most premium inventory. Media companies and broadcasters should carefully evaluate the anti-fraud capabilities of their partners. 

While overall viewability has improved, its inconsistency across the industry remains a top concern for advertisers. Publishers should continue to prioritize page and player optimizations to deliver high viewability.

In this era of all-the-time video and TV viewership, programmatic allows broadcasters, media companies, advertisers and agencies to capitalize on fragmenting viewership patterns. With premium digital content now available programmatically, it’s easier than ever to connect brands to the right audiences, across devices. Bad ads and viewability are still of concern, but new fraud prevention techniques provide more peace of mind. Advertisers and agencies using programmatic can be confident in the quality of video inventory, and broadcasters and media companies can earn more revenue with smarter, better advertising.

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