As with most things digital, online video views are rising month over month. It's the classic hockey stick growth curve. In August 2012, 188 million U.S. Internet users watched 37.7 billion online content videos, according to comScore. This growth is driven by the fact that we are living in a multi-device, multiplatform world where consumers are watching video on phones, video game consoles with integrated video offerings, tablets, laptops, etc.
Yet there still exists several licensing and distribution challenges that will need to be figured out by traditional content providers -- for example, Hollywood, television studios and cable/television networks -- in order to be truly able to deliver the video content that consumers want to watch, when and where they want to watch it.
As a direct result of this growing consumer demand for digital video, the video advertising ecosystem is also growing and thriving. So while growth in the space is good for all of us, it is by no means a panacea. There’s a lot we can do to improve the gaps in the video advertising value chain.
What's this gap in the system I’m speaking of?
First let’s look at the dilemma faced by any number of ad agencies. On the one hand, they control much of the video advertising creative, like the TV ads created for a national TV campaign targeted to a wide national audience. On the other hand, agencies also have client CMOs who want and expect the granular targeting that online video advertising promises. Yet, in reality, how can you expect that agencies can somehow create and deliver 50 or 60 custom (i.e: targeted) variations of an ad to deliver geo, contextually, demographically targeted video ads to multiple video ad network or content partners?
On top of that, while the campaign is running, you need to keep track of all the multiple variations, distinguish between them and create aggregated reports.
Yet, this gap can be bridged. There exists any number of agencies and ad tech vendors working to solve this problem. Imagine the day when an agency or a technology partner can take a single national TV spot creative, then automatically generate and distribute multiple online video ads -- variations that are targeted across demographic, geo, contextual, etc. And, these ads will also be viewable cross-platform and accessible on multiple devices.
Let’s imagine the day when we can take a television spot for a new SUV model and deliver it digitally so that consumers see video creative that is married with a local call to action within the ad -- the location of the closest dealer, a 30-day offer on 0% financing, you name it, the possibilities are endless.
Let’s not stop there. Let’s also consider the multiplatform opportunities that this can create as well. With the rise in mobile video advertising consumption, customizing your video ads for the mobile medium will allow even further targeting and better results.
A highly targeted mobile video ad containing a special offer, coupon, voucher or clickable directions to a local location all integrated with the brand's recognizable TV creative.
That's where we think the next evolution of online video advertising is headed. What about you? What do you think the next evolution in online video will be?