The advertising industry's focus is dramatically shifting. Just a few years ago, ad buyer options were limited to print, mail, radio and TV advertising. Today, few campaigns can be considered even remotely relevant or complete if they don't include online, video, social, mobile and more. This is putting a lot of pressure on both advertisers and publishers to create successful online advertising campaigns and programs with measurable return on investment (ROI) and visibility into exactly where ads appear.
Online video viewership is reaching new highs each month, presenting a perfect opportunity for media buyers to tap into the massive video audience. New research from Nielsen revealed that during April 2011, Americans streamed 14.7 billion videos, a record for the most streams in a month. In addition, non-premium video site YouTube's usage was at an all-time high in April 2011, with viewers watching 8.7 billion streams, up seven percent from the previous month. Yet most advertisers are still only comfortable buying the 10% of premium online ads that offer comprehensive data about their content.
Media buyers commonly believe that online videos can't be measured with traditional TV metrics such as Target Rating Point (TRP) and Gross Rating Point (GRP). Recently, new technology has emerged that can provide the same rating points and can also accurately determine the content of the video, offering a chance for ad buyers to take early advantage of the 90% of non-premium online video inventory, yet to be claimed.
Advertisers are also becoming more rigorous in how they target social or viral online video ads and are beginning to turn to more detailed data than audience impressions for measurement. Viral and social online videos often have a much higher niche audience engagement, with successful videos achieving several million views. This content is non-premium, and is therefore much more affordable to advertisers than expensive premium videos. Social media can also offer more detailed metrics than traditional TV advertising, such as how often an ad was passed along on social networking sites and social engagement including tweets, Facebook "likes" or comments.
In summary, ad media buyers have been reluctant to buy ad space for online videos as this content hasn't offered the same level of transparency. As a result, ads could potentially run alongside inappropriate or controversial videos, with potentially devastating results for the brand.
Now advertisers can have total clarity about online video content and total control through custom channels that allow them to select the exact online videos where they'd like to advertise. From specific subjects such as extreme sports or wine tasting, to exact channels such as ESPN and TNT, advertisers can now target their ads and engage audiences with the same precision for online video that they have with traditional TV spots.
A clear opportunity exists for innovative media buyers to shift ad dollars from TV to online video, and claim these devoted, loyal and highly focused online audiences first.