2014 Predictions: The Year Of Programmatic Video Advertising

It’s that time of year again -- when I make predictions for what’s coming down the pike in digital video advertising in the coming year. What’s in store for 2014?

1. 60% of all digital video ads will be bought programmatically. This may seem a bold prediction, but I’ll put my stake in the ground on this one. In 2014, we'll see brand advertisers turn to sophisticated programmatic platforms to plan, execute and optimize at least half of their video ad campaigns.

Advertisers have already wholeheartedly adopted programmatic for their display buys, with over half of all display ads being bought this way.

Programmatic buys, done both on open and private exchanges, will similarly transform the video ad industry – making it more automated, measurable, and transparent. Traditional TV advertisers will also adopt programmatic buying to extend campaigns across digital screens, which will bring us closer to closing the gap between the digital and TV worlds. Because of this massive shift toward programmatic buying, media-based ad networks will continue to struggle, while technology-driven programmatic platforms and private exchanges will proliferate.

2. Programmatic becomes the new premium inventory. In 2014, more publishers will make inventory available via programmatic platforms. Publishers will make premium inventory they used to sell only through direct relationships available on private exchanges, ensuring bids from only high-quality brands. Publishers will experiment with different types of private exchanges, including closed environments where only one advertiser may bid on inventory (a sort of programmatic-direct model), as well as controlled environments where a limited number of invited brands can bid on inventory.

Publishers will partner with video ad platforms that provide the necessary tools to help them efficiently automate the sale of their premium inventory via programmatic channels. That means 2014 may well be the year we see programmatic upfronts, where publishers provide advertisers a first look at premium inventory and preferred ad rates. All in all, there will be a big shift in the perception of programmatic inventory, from cheap and remnant ad space, to valuable premium inventory.

3. Advanced measurement and real-time data will close the gap between TV and digital video. TV and digital video are two sides of the same coin, and in 2014, we’ll see them move closer together than ever before. Advertisers will begin to harness the power of real-time data and automated buying platforms to make integrated TV and digital ad buys – optimizing targeting across screens. To make this integrated world a reality, advertisers will adopt advanced and robust measurement and analytics for their digital video and TV ad campaigns, so they can spot synergies between platforms and optimize based on cross-channel results. Video ad platforms will work closely with leading TV measurement companies to provide the latest in real-time metrics technologies that enable greater insights into multiscreen audience measurement. By the end of 2014, the TV and digital industries will come together to define a common standard for video viewability, while making strong advancements to identify common measurement metrics across screens.

4. Mobile video advertising gets new measurement standards. We already know that mobile video advertising is the fastest-growing digital ad segment, and that growth will continue to skyrocket in 2014. As mobile video becomes a cornerstone of brands’ marketing budgets, they will demand more robust measurement standards. Mobile video ad spend has so far increased on the basis of extremely high clickthrough and conversion, but advertisers will increasingly seek ways to accurately measure engagement and brand impact, as well as cross-channel impact.

Expect to see industry standards emerge to measure mobile video ad effectiveness across the four screens of TV, desktop, smartphone, and tablet. Digital video ad networks will work with third-party measurement companies to provide an unbiased view of mobile video ad metrics, including brand engagement, ad interaction, and audience reach. As such, we’ll see the MRAID and VPAID proposed mobile video ad measurement standards gain traction in 2014 – driving even more impressive growth in mobile video advertising.

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