Welcome to Xplore, your essential source of video advertising insight from across APAC, the most diverse region in the world.
The video advertising landscape in Australia and around the world is competitive, fragmented, and rich in its variety of platforms.
The recent launches of Foxtel’s new service, Binge, and 10 Play’s app strategy exemplify the sharpness of the competition. Free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters are experiencing ongoing declines in their linear audience, but this is being offset by double-digit growth in their over-the-top video-on-demand (OTT VOD) services, which have grown 331% between 2015 and 2019 according to ThinkTV data.
However, OTT is but one option on the wide spectrum of video advertising. It’s important to take a step back to consider the different opportunities available to understand which is best for your brand and objectives.
OTT is a fast-growing premium opportunity
OTT services are now more popular than pay TV in Australia, led by Netflix and accelerated by fast broadband availability. CTV is the primary device for consumption. It is present in more than 50% of households and accounts for more than half of all OTT inventory.
Top OTT services are provided by free-to-air or pay-TV broadcasters, such as Nine Now, 7Plus, SBS on Demand, and Foxtel GO, as well as non-broadcaster platforms, such as Kayo Sports and Optus Sport. There are also numerous regional providers, like Tubi (entertainment movies and shows), Bloomberg (finance and economic long-form content), YuppTV (Indian and Bollywood content), Crunchyroll (Anime), and global players like Disney+ – which has gained 2 million Aussie subscribers in four months.
Advertising-video-on-demand (AVOD) services are on the rise as paid subscriptions plateau around two to three subscriptions per household. There will always be a portion of consumers that prefer ad-supported or free content services.
Because of its premium nature, OTT advertising is ideal for brand building and driving awareness. The big-screen experience and quality long-form content provide a great ad experience for users (including in-stream ads pre-, mid-, and post-roll). OTT is similar to TV but has other benefits – it reaches light TV viewers and is a great way to extend audience reach. The IAB estimates that co-viewership of a TV program means there is an average of 1.9 viewers per CTV device.
Brands can also layer on first- and third-party data to their media buy, delivering additional targeting capabilities, while digital measurement metrics offer sophisticated objective setting and optimisation. An OTT or CTV media buy also appeals to challenger brands who cannot afford to splash budgets on popular programming across linear TV where there can be a lot of wastage.
OTT provides access to Australia’s most sought-after content including live-streamed shows and sports with granular targeting. Buying this programmatically ensures that brands do not have to lock in spend commitments and only access the audience they wish to.
Online video remains the most sought-after online inventory
Video is unsurprisingly the most sought after inventory online, with brands competing for placements in premium local and global publications, such as Nine Entertainment, MSN, Mail Online, and Mamamia. These publications serve in-stream ads adjacent to brand-safe, short-form video content within fact-checked editorial environments that deliver high viewability. Burgeoning online gaming platforms, such as Twitch.tv and Playwire, are also popular as they deliver pre- and mid-roll inventory at scale across highlighted and live-streamed gaming content.
Out-stream ads – ads where the ad expands and appears within the article as the user scrolls down – are another commonplace and successful format. There are scale benefits for advertisers using out-stream to reach users fully engaged in reading article content, however, it pays to fully understand the quality and measurement metrics around viewability and completed view rates.
Online video is a great complement to OTT when looking to build awareness and reach more relevant audiences who are light TV viewers, helping to achieve wider audience goals. With the range of different environments and access to rich audience data, it is an ideal channel to be more granular with your targeting and pinpoint in-market audience segments. It also provides a great environment to use shorter video creatives, which appeal to users viewing snackable, short-form video and can act as a nudge to support your core messaging on OTT.
Native and app-based video offer diverse inventory
The native and app-based video market is a broad and diverse inventory pool which can appear overwhelming at first glance. Most are familiar with the big social media platforms that offer an array of native video formats that are often present in the news feed. Native ads are best used for mid- to lower-funnel objectives, where you can use targeting to ensure you remain highly relevant to the content and maximise your impact.
Outside of the walled gardens, OTT, gaming, and music streaming apps are the most prominent inventory sources with similar in-stream and out-stream formats available. Additional formats include interstitials that appear as the user navigates through the app, appearing full-screen and delivering high viewability. Premium app providers, like Nine Now and Spotify, also offer great formats for upper-funnel objectives, providing scale and reach for advertisers.
The app ecosystem has evolved immensely in terms of quality, targeting capabilities, brand safety, and measurement in recent years. Gaming has officially hit the mainstream with broad demographic appeal and brand advertisers are increasingly embracing it. It’s imperative to work with the leading app publishers to ensure full transparency and deploy checks and balances with the likes of verification seller standards such as app-ads.txt, which enables a brand to buy app ads with confidence.