Back in September after our team returned from IBC, where our 2nd Look solution was a featured demo in the Amazon Web Services booth, we wrote that render rates were one of the most talked about topics at the event. That came as little surprise to us since we’ve been stressing and discussing the importance of render rates for years.
Now, amidst a soft direct-sold ad market and a continued shift to CTV, there is greater industry focus on the critical importance of a programmatic marketplace expected to exceed $20 billion in a few years. This focus has also highlighted the importance of critical KPIs to SSPs and DSPs, with render rate being one of the most important.
First, let’s level-set a few items. Render rate, for the purpose of this post, is the number of ads actually viewed (think impressions) divided by the number of ads decisioned (think all of the ads that could have been viewed if the viewer watched an entire movie or TV show) for a particular Video on Demand stream (aka, not FAST Linear). Also, when it comes to the term “render rate,” there are other terms used to describe the same metric including Efficiency Rate, View-Thru Rate, Ad Delivery Rate, Ad Impression Rate, and Ad Completion Rate. Know of others? Feel free to email us with other options.
However it’s referred to, render rate is a crucial KPI for ad-supported streamers. A low render rate means a small portion of the advertising decisions for a given stream end up being viewed by end users. This usually is because viewers dropped from the stream or timing issues arose between the publisher’s ad stitcher and ad server. Whatever the reason, there are negative impacts on advertising revenue largely because programmatic algorithms place less value on inventory with low render rates. Add in the fact that some publishers also are paying ad serving and ad stitching fees, even if ads aren’t delivered, and it’s clear why we’ve been speaking about the importance of render rates for the past few years.
AVOD publishers using Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) regularly struggle with low render rates because ad decisions are made long before the ad will be presented to the viewer. Render rates of 30-50% are common. Our 2nd Look solution consistently pushes our customers’ render rates well above 90% by enabling real-time ad decisions for SSAI implementations. The ability to trigger ad decisions only for ad pods that are about to be viewed is a game-changer. It not only drives high render rates by mitigating the negative effects of ad tech issues and viewers dropping from streams, but also creates other significant benefits that empower AVODs to exceed their revenue KPIs on a consistent basis. These include:
Increased Ad Fill Rate/CPMs: A poor render rate can have a negative impact on a publisher’s fill rate. For the buy side, low render rates create concerns about whether their ads are actually going to be delivered. Not surprisingly, buyers avoid placements with low render rates. The result is minimal competition for these placements and depressed CPM rates.
Advertiser Satisfaction: A high render rate contributes to an ad-supported publisher achieving favorable ad delivery metrics, such as ad completion rates and view-ability metrics, which is essential for demonstrating the platform's value to advertisers. If the render rate is consistently low, budget-minded advertisers will seek out platforms that can guarantee the delivery of their ads to their target audiences.
DSP Satisfaction: Similar to a brand/advertiser’s perspective, from a demand-side partner’s point of view, consistently low render rates also are red flags. When a programmatic auction is won, but the ad doesn’t render, a DSP sees lost opportunities both in the stream in question and auctions they’ve missed out on. The more and more this happens, the more likely DSPs will push to prioritize other publishers who demonstrate higher and consistent render rates.
Impact of Ad Server/Ad Stitcher Fees Reduced: As mentioned earlier, publishers may pay ad serving and ad stitching fees, regardless if ads are even delivered. A high render rate ensures that publisher’s aren’t incurring ad delivery fees on revenue they aren’t collecting.
Penthera helps AVOD publishers maximize ad-revenue by reducing common errors and inefficiencies in the ad insertion process. This makes existing ad insertion technology work better and increases the value of publishers’ inventory and, as a result, their render rates and ad revenue.
If you’d like to learn more about what our data and insights say about opportunities to maximize render rates in 2024, contact us today to schedule a call.