The Biggest Challenges to Online Video

In six weeks, New York City will be swarm with brands, agencies and networks in the annual mating ritual known as The Upfronts.

The Web has long looked both longingly and sneeringly at this rite, seeing it as a mark of the backwardness of TV yet at the same time pining for the billions spent through it. The Internet has its own version of the Upfronts, endearingly called the Newfronts, but few are kidding themselves that the digital version can yet hold a candle to TV’s.

The question is why. Last week at the Digiday Video Upfront Breakfast in New York, brand and agency execs came together to discuss the biggest opportunities in online video — and what’s holding it back.

Here are the biggest issues, according to Ritu Trivedi, svp, director of digital strategy and partnerships at MediaVest USA and Jahn Wolland, national sales director, online video at Microsoft Advertising.

What’s premium
Both sides agreed that the quality of online video content has really risen, but that there are major challenges when it comes to fragmentation, understanding good supply, and defining “premium.” Because there are so many ways to buy video, that makes it even harder to understand good supply, according to Trivedi. This also means that defining premium is different for everyone, and the answer depends on who you are asking.

Measuring what matters
As Wolland put it, “Measurement is the wild, wild West.” ComScore’s out there pushing VCE; Nielsen’s betting on OCR. The result: gridlock and confusion. Brand and agencies have a lot of data, but digital measurement has taken a huge step back, according to Trivedi, because the focus has shifted to audience composition. This also means over-delivery becomes a big issue.

Programatic and scale
The machines have arrived to Internet advertising. The display advertising world is being quickly changed as buyers turn to automated ad systems. This would figure to also arrive for video, only the supply and demand dynamics there are quite different. According to Trivedi, programmatic is definitely part of the solution to the fragmentation and resulting confusion when it comes to online video buying and reaching scale, but it’s only part of it. As Wolland sees it, scale will have more to do with distributing across more and new platforms.

Watch the full session below.

Challenges and Opportunities in Online Video from Digiday on Vimeo.

Image via Shutterstock

Sign up to get the day’s top stories at 6am eastern.