As more people are watching online video via smartphones, tablets, and whatever other form factors they can point their eyeballs at, more advertisers are turning to programmatic video ads and more media sites are placing them, according to a report from Google Inc.

Google’s Global State of Play report released in July examines activity on its DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers platforms from Q4 2014 to Q4 2015 – DoubleClick, of course, being the programmatic ad placement platform that Google acquired for $3.1 billion in 2007, and is now part of many a marketer’s routine in deploying AdWords ads, display ads, and more recently video ads on YouTube.

In the report, Google describes programmatic video ads as a nascent market, but one that’s growing rapidly. Among the TV and media companies that are participating in a revenue-sharing scheme with Google for programmatic video revenue, revenue is up 550 per cent. That revenue is being driven by traffic views from mobile devices – smartphones and tablets – growing more than 3,000 per cent in 2015.

2015 saw a big increase on the amount of YouTube content viewed on mobile devices, according to Google.
2015 saw a big increase on the amount of YouTube content viewed on mobile devices, according to Google.

The amount of videos placed by advertisers using DoubleClick Bid Manager increased by 39 times over 2015, and spend increased by 650 per cent. Programmatic buying on YouTube grew 55 per cent month over month from September 2015 to March 2016.

Programmatic video ads are being embraced by the top end of the market, with premium video creators on the web arranging direct, reservation-style deals with advertisers through Google Partner Select, a program started in 2014 with the intent on giving advertisers access to premium video content online. That program saw a 238 per cent growth in impressions over 2015.

Google’s programmatic tools allow advertisers to target the size of video player they want their ads to be seen on as well, and large format sizes are outpacing other sizes by 17 per cent. Google defines a “large player” as at least 400×300 pixels in size.

Viewability of video ads

As more video is being consumed, the viewability of video ads is also improving, so more ads that are being played are actually being seen by the targeted audience. (As opposed to playing on some hidden section of a web page.) Across desktop, mobile, and tablet, 66 per cent of video ads were viewable on the web and in apps, compared to 54 per cent in 2015. On YouTube, 93 per cent of video ads are viewable, a two percentage point increase over 2015.

Canada outperforms the U.S. in terms of video ad viewability on the web, according to Google.
Canada outperforms the U.S. in terms of video ad viewability on the web, according to Google.

In Canada, web viewability is even better when compared against the U.S. and many other countries. Video ad viewabilty on the web was 72 per cent in the Great White North in 2016, and 62 per cent south of the border.

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