Article originally appeared in MediaTel: Newsline
A triple-digit increase in online video spend has been credited by the IAB/PWC as one of the key drivers of UK Internet advertising expenditure in the first half of 2011. Meanwhile comScore is showing growth for users in August (average of 20 hours video consumed per user) and Cisco is reporting that they expect video to make up 90% of all web traffic within two years.
What a great time to be in online video. The (still fledgling) industry should have no qualms about a quiet pat on the back, but I would argue that now is the time for everybody to double down and push through some inevitable growing pains.
Video’s recent successes came after significant leg-ups from its older, bigger brother – TV. Firstly, the BBC recognised that all content will eventually be distributed via IP and used its public service remit to take the bull by the horns and launch the iPlayer, which has been a resounding success and defined the sector for consumers.
Secondly, the global recession hit the UK TV advertising sector and inadvertently gave clients and agencies some flexibility to experiment with video, all of which laid the foundations for its current success.
But buying and selling video advertising is only going to get more complicated – more devices for consumers, a longer tail of content publishers, connected TVs with overlapping digital and linear experiences… and a marketer’s desire to understand what they have actually achieved with their campaign.
This need is why VINDICO decided to launch into the UK market (we serve 40% of all online video advertising in the US). But there is also work for the industry to do as a whole. Top of the wish list should be a new audience currency.
It isn’t good enough that as an industry we cannot accurately measure the impact of video alongside TV. The incremental reach of video, or the equivalent cost of buying cover on video, (versus TV) are ever-present questions from the buying community. It’s great to see that BARB has announced a cross-industry panel to look at this. I hope the panel is broad enough in experience to look at the issues in detail, and not just focus on BARB’s shortcomings.
Second on the wish list – and hopefully less of a challenge – is the need for recognised accreditation. It is inevitable that the long tail of video publishers will grow, as digital enables new distribution points and we need to provide increased security to the industry.
Finally we need to look at pushing the boundaries of the video ad space itself. Currently, over 90% of creative is re-purposed TV content and whilst this has been effective to date, we should all be thinking about what comes next – ad selectors, 1st and 2nd screen linked advertising and bespoke messaging, to name but a few.
As the results from the IAB, comScore and Cisco show, video is a booming market and it will never be easier to buy than it is today. Whilst we should all enjoy this moment in the sun, as an industry, we need to keep a close eye on the future of online video advertising, as these results do not create themselves.
James Grant appeared on a panel at MediaTel Group’s recent Connected TV Experience event. To read more about the issues discussed on the day, click here.