'06 Broadband Video Market To Reach $500 Million, About The Size Of A Major TV Daypart
"It will be a $500 million marketplace over the next 12 months for traditional video, 15- and 30-second commercial advertising being either integrated into in-stream environments or in engaged ad units that can support video," estimated Adam Gerber, vice president-ad products & strategy at broadband video developer Brightcove.
"Is it going to become the primary place tat marketer's put their TV budgets? I don't think so. But I think over the long-term, you are going to see major shifts in how advertisers are spending money," added Gerber, who prior to joining Brightcove was head of new media at MediaVest, and was part of the team that helped initiated the so-called broadband upfront at Starcom MediaVest Group three years ago.
But that's the conservative estimate, said Matt Wasserlauf, president-CEO of another broadband video advertising developer, Broadband Enterprises. "The inventory exists today to support a billion dollar business. There could be a billion dollar industry in pre-roll 15- and 30-second commercials."
One of the things that could limit the scale of that market, cautioned Brightcove's Gerber, was a growing perception that so-called "pre-roll," or the commercial units that run intrusively before online video content, may not be as effective as conventional TV commercials.
"Give us a chance," he pleaded to a roomful of planners and buyers, noting, "Already, people are talking about how horrible a model pre-roll is. We need to focus on the model's positives."
Despite strong high-speed penetration rates and consumers' insatiable hunger for video content, Gerber and his fellow "New Channel for Content Distribution" panelists are still fearful of being overlooked by agencies because of negative presumptions and impatience for an immature ad model.
"We're not even in the first inning of broadband," Gerber said, "It's more like batting practice."
"Let's just hope no one comes up with a 5 percent solution," remarked Allison Bodenmann, executive vice president of national sales of WorldNow, the broadband services provider. Bodenmann was referring to ad agencies' hastily reacting to the advent of cable TV by blindly allocating 5 percent of their budgets for the new medium.
"The general idea is that broadband deserves a much closer look by agencies than they gave cable originally," Gerber later explained to OnlineMediaDaily.
Backing up Gerber's defense of broadband, Bodenmann assured members of the audience that "The tech will be there very soon" to silence critics who consider pre-roll ads clunky and half-baked.
To varying degrees, each panelist was professedly optimist about broadband, but none more so than Matt Wasserlauf, president and CEO of Broadband Enterprises, which specializes in broadband video sales, syndication, and original production.
"Television has been the predominant medium for a number of generations, but every generation up to 24-year-olds are going online before TV," said Wasserlauf.
Rejecting the common perception that inventory is scarce, Wasserlauf asserted, "The doors are open and there's plenty of opportunity." To support his position, Wasserlauf noted a comScore statistic that over 4 billion "monetizable" streams exist online per month. (A comScore spokeswoman later confirmed that number for December of last year.)
Still, a lack of agency procedure when planning online buys appears to be slowing progress.
How are agencies and advertisers managing their broadband spending: Line item budget or judgment call?
As an example, Curt Hecht, executive vice president of ad products and strategy at GM Planworks was asked just how planners like himself are managing their broadband spending: line item budget or judgment call. In response, he said: "We attach to properties we care a lot about," adding, "At the end of the day that leads to a line item, but we don't start out that way."
Looking ahead toward a brighter future for pre-roll, Gerber noted the potential for behavioral and contextual targeting technology as the ad model's great hope. "The challenge is audience metrics," he said.