Online Video Poised for Budget Leap

Digital video executives often talk about the inevitable shift of TV dollars to Web video. Yet, to date, while Web video spending has grown exponentially, the most recent TV upfront saw double-digit-rate increases.

As it turns out, findings in the Video State of the Industry Survey conducted by Digiday in a survey sponsored by point to TV and Web video being quite complementary. In fact, most brands and agencies told us that online video advertising is far from a replacement for the mass-reach vehicle that is TV. Nearly 600 agency and brand advertisers, publishers and online video technology providers weighed in on how online video may be filling a gap for TV advertisers. Here are a few key points that rose to the top:

  • Television – especially cable – ad budgets are relatively safe for now. The majority of ad buyers – 56 percent of brand respondents – said they view online video as a complement to, rather than a replacement for, their television advertising.
  • Engagement is top of mind for advertisers.
    • Brand engagement is the leading online video campaign objective.
    • Sharing video via social networks is considered one of the most important ROI metrics for buyers.
    • Interactive pre-rolls remain a top ad format for delivering ROI.
    • iPads are a key growth area.
  • Online video ad buyers dive well beyond “reach” to achieve results. Targeting is a top criterion for video advertising buyers when deciding which sites to patronize. Better targeting is also cited as the top potential influence for advertisers to invest more of their budgets in online video. Because advertisers are more inclined to work directly with publishers than are agencies, this is an important capability for publishers to emphasize when they can offer it.
  • Demographic data reigns. Advertisers are both conversant and comfortable with the use of third-party data to target their interactive video campaigns. Some 75 percent of responding advertisers achieve their targeting objectives using third-party data. Inversely, only 36 percent of publishers do.
  • Rates for interactive video are increasing – 92 percent of video content publishers say their net video CPMs were higher than last year’s by an average of 19 percent.
  • Fill rates are on the rise. Only 32 percent of publishers say that more than 30 percent of their available video ad inventory is unsold in a given month.
  • Bundling takes a dive as dedicated sales teams gain strength. Sales success may in some measure be due to a stronger emphasis on dedicated sales teams (up 4 percent from last year), and a dramatically reduced reliance on bundling with traditional cable or TV broadcast packages (down to 14 from 31 percent.) Ad network sales declined by 8 percent.
  • Innovation in video advertising appears to be moving as rapidly to mobile media as it is to online.

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