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State of the Video Market: UK Appetite for Online Video Is Giving British Marketing Cause for Celebration

04/06/2014 13:33 BST | Updated 03/08/2014 10:59 BST

It's all too easy to pour cold water on England's chances at this summer's FIFA World Cup or complain that our transport infrastructure is poor in comparison with other countries, but this past quarter's latest report on the state of the programmatic market marks a big win for the video advertising industry in our country. Overall online video ad viewability rates in the U.K. averaged 43% in Q1, the highest rate worldwide, and 7% higher than the global average. This shift reflects both the increased adoption of viewability measurement tools as well as publishers embracing programmatic technology.

In the U.K., pre-roll video inventory grew 118% from Q4 to Q1; mobile inventory grew 154% over that same time - the U.K. was the only region with triple-digit growth in both inventory types. The universal growth indicates a growing recognition of programmatic's benefits for marketers with branding objectives - automated buying isn't just a direct response thing anymore.

The reason we should applaud our insatiable appetite for watching digital video ads is slightly more complex but essentially we're helping to push the advertising landscape forward here in the U.K. and that's instilling confidence in publishers and brands to be more creative with video. In turn this provides more revenue growth opportunities for U.K. businesses and more strategic marketing data to help businesses with customer insight. Factors driving the growth in this area include the increased adoption of viewability measurement tools and advancements in programmatic technology that allow advertisers to achieve wider and more targeted reach.

We calculate the average cost-per-minute data by dividing the overall cost after fees of each ad format by the total number of minutes played. With the exception of social media, all ad formats across the U.K. saw at least a 35% decrease in average cost-per-minute from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014. Mobile ad types had the largest change, dropping over 82% from £0.23 in Q4 to £0.04 in Q1; pre-roll ads had the lowest overall cost-per-minute at £0.03. Along with pre-roll, both connected TV and mobile ad formats saw cost-per-minute decreases quarter-over- quarter, which is good news for marketers looking to reach viewers across multiple screens.

We expect that pre-roll will remain the most cost-effective ad type for the foreseeable future, though mobile will continue to bridge the gap as viewership increases - which is already happening.

The U.K. is driving a big marketing shift both by embracing video advertising and showing brands and media agencies programmatic's increasing relevance. Advertisers can come to regard video as accountable, effective and measurable but most of all, they can rest assured that we, the great British public, can't get enough of it.