The ebbs and flows of programmatic video: report

A Google report based on advertiser and buyer behaviour on its platforms identifies variations in investment based on platform, market and player size.
Google programmatic report

As audiences fragment across screens and devices, advertisers can channel programmatic avenues to strategically reach their target demos.

So states a new global report from Google, which is based on an analysis of programmatic video advertising from around the world on the company’s DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers platforms. Comparing investments on those two between Q4 2014 and Q4 2015, the report shows how advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and media cos are investing in programmatic video.

Mobile and tablet continue to lead the charge in video viewability. Globally, viewability by mobile and tablet for YouTube comes in at 95%, with desktop at 85%. For the rest of the web and apps, the contrast is even sharper, with 73% on mobile, 81% for tablet and 64% for desktop.

The numbers also show that video viewability is much higher in Canada than in the U.S. According to the report, Google-owned YouTube retains its ranking as an industry leader in video viewabilty. In Q4 of 2016 93% of its inventory was viewable. Those numbers may partly be attributable to the company’s decision to open up its TrueView skippable-ad format for programmatic buys last year.

Numbers have also increased for video on the rest of the web. In Q4 of 2015 video viewability on the web (minus YouTube) was 61% in Canada compared with 54% in the U.S. By Q4 of 2016 that number had moved up to 72%.

With broadcasters and media companies making more video content available for programmatic buys, video impressions for that category are also growing. Of AdAge‘s top 100 advertisers, which Google profiled, 85% used Double Click Bid Manager in 2015 to buy programmatic video. That is almost 600% more impressions than in 2014. 

Advertisers increased their investment in buying video on large player sizes (400 X 300 to 1280 X 720) (greater impact on brand lift, video viewability and engagement on those sizes). However bid requests by size (in-banner video, small player, large player and HD video) vary based on which exchange is used. In the first quarter of 2016 growth in spend on large players was greater than that on all other player sizes by 17%.

Bad ads and fraud continue to be a problem in the online world but Google says it disabled over 780 million ads for violating its policies in 2015. Its bid manager platform also calculated the video spam filtration rate by exchange, which shows a wide range among the top 12 video exchanges, which are not identified by name. Eight of those exchanges had spam filtration rates in the double digits, with only one with 1%. The report advises advertisers to evaluate ad exchanges’ spam rates before investing in them.