Year-on-year premium video advertising views were up by 37 per cent in the first three months of 2018 according to Freewheel's latest Video Monetisation Report.
That's more than in the US, where the figure increased by 34 per cent.
The number of video views rose by 10 per cent.
The report also revealed that live ad views in Europe – fuelled by major sporting events such as the Winter Olympics – saw growth of 67 per cent year-on-year, compared to 77 per cent in the US.
Combined, OTT and STB VoD garnered the highest share of ad views, at 39 per cent. While mobile ad views have risen 19 per cent year-on-year, and desktop also continues to be a key player with a growth rate of 16 per cent, these figures reflect slower growth; and views of premium video on tablet have decreased by two per cent year-on-year.
The report also reveals viewers are watching over more formats and devices than ever. For full episodes, pre- and mid-roll ad completion is at 97 per cent and 96 per cent respectively.
Additional findings from the Q1 report included:
While concerns around transparency have led to direct deals accounting for 84 per cent of premium advertising, programmatic is still experiencing considerable growth in the region. European advertisers have fuelled a rise of 48 per cent year-on-year in this area, and 16 per cent of ad views stem from programmatic transactions.
The number of ads per break in long-form on-demand content has decreased. European viewers see 4.6 ads in comparison to the 4.8 in Q1 2017, totalling around 80 seconds – a reduction of 14 seconds.
Thomas Bremond, general manager, international, Comcast (owners of Freewheel), said: “In the midst of a fast-changing industry, 2017 was a successful year for premium video advertising – and 2018 has also demonstrated a strong start. While the full implications of GDPR within Europe on publishers and advertisers are still to be seen, the positive steps being taken towards greater transparency and optimising the viewer experience will hopefully ensure that the effects are minimal, and the relationship between brand and consumer will continue to flourish.”