Monetization of digital premium video content soars in 2014

Online ad and digital video views increased 30% and 27% respectively in 2014, reflecting strong full-year growth in the digital video ecosystem, a new report said.

Comcast-owned ad tech company Freewheel, in its Q4 2014 Video Monetization report, also said that long-form content is becoming a more critical component for publishers: The quarter saw Y/Y ad-views on long-form content increase 43%, which, the company says, indicated viewers increasingly are trying to “replicate the TV experience in the new digital living room and outside the home.”

Not surprisingly, ad-completion rates for long-form content was high, about 92%; Freewheel posits viewers tend to be “more committed to the content,” and are willing to sit through multiple ads, including mid-rolls.

The report said snackable content, too, saw growth; short-form and mid-form content was up 19% from a year ago.

Views of authenticated content – essentially TV Everywhere – was up 591% in Q4. It was the first time Freewheel saw long-form and live monetization come from TV Everywhere content. Of course, TV Everywhere remains a slow-starter among U.S. users, with fewer than 30% of pay-TV households saying they’re “moderate” users of the technology, according to an eMarketer report.

But, Freewheel added fuel to the fire surrounding Nielsen’s C3 ratings – and fell in line with other reports that contend time-shifted viewing has become dominant in the U.S. — saying that nearly three-quarters (72%) of ad views were delivered outside the three-day window following broadcast, and more than two-thirds (68%) occurred more than eight days later.

It also reported huge growth in the monetization of content streamed through devices like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast, with 236% growth in viewing time for the quarter. That triple-digit growth can still be attributed to the law of small numbers, as only about one-fifth of households are estimated to currently use the connected devices.

More impressive, because of the shear volume of content being streamed to mobile devices, is the 70% growth in monetization of content being delivered to smartphones. U.S. Millennials – along with Millennials globally – are mobile, with some research showing the consume more of their content on tablets and smartphones than on TV screens.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn