Top Seven Trends For Online Video In 2011

As we count down to the end of what's been an incredible 2010 in the world of online video and advertising in general, I think it's the perfect time to take a look at what trends we'll see emerge and grow in the coming year. Here's what I think we'll be talking about when looking back on what made 2011 more successful than we could have possibly imagined:

1.     Branded entertainment will see even more explosive growth. It's no secret - it's becoming increasingly difficult to reach the consumer via a 30-second advertisement. Even YouTube is now giving the consumer the option to skip a commercial in certain cases. As consumers are given these options, advertisers are going to have to become more nimble in their approach to advertising their products. That's why in 2011, branded entertainment will see even more explosive growth. Advertisers will realize that seamlessly integrating their message into online video in a way that adds value to the content will become the ideal way to generate brand awareness amongst consumers.



2.     Low-end Web advertising will die. Somewhere along the way, advertisers forgot that integrating quality content into every online ad will likely drive significantly higher return metrics and deepen engagement.  In 2011, look for more Web publishers to follow the lead of cutting-edge publishers like Gawker to provide advertisers with larger avenues to deliver relevant ads.

3.     More celebrities will find their way to the Web. Celebrities looking for more freedom than afforded by the traditional broadcast television model will turn to online video to make their dream projects happen. Keep an eye out for some major A-list celebrities to make the move in 2011, perhaps finally bringing about the "I Love Lucy" moment we discussed last month.

4.     "Smart reach" will make its way into every forward-thinking agency's RFPs. Agencies will finally realize in 2011 that it's not all about demographics anymore -- it's about "smart reach." Getting to consumers with engaging, relevant content at the right time and in the right places will be a priority for agencies looking to get the most out of their ad spend.

5.     "Snackable" video content will find even more competition from quality long-form content. Snackable, use- generated videos are not dead by any means, but they're going to find significant competition from well-made, long-form original online Web content.  We learned this year that when excellent content is broadcast over the Web, viewers will watch.  For example, DBG-produced ControlTV enjoyed record engagement numbers, with viewers sticking around for over 25 minutes at a time. Expect these numbers to rise in 2011 as more entertaining and engaging long-form content finds its way to the Web.

6.    The average TV viewer will increasingly become screen-agnostic. TV viewers won't care where they get their video fix in 2011. The introduction of Hulu PLUS and the increasing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix will give rise to a TV viewer more concerned about what they're watching as opposed to what they're watching it on.

7.     Expect mobile video to grow. As mobile networks continue to improve their networks and video networks expand to include mobile, the amount of high quality video content that can be transmitted to mobile phones will increase exponentially. As this happens, look for marketers to target mobile users specifically with exclusive content.

7 comments about "Top Seven Trends For Online Video In 2011".
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  1. Chase Norlin from AlphaBird, December 7, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.

    Couldn't agree more Chris. Advertising is becoming content, it has to, users are bombarded with messages and brands need to engage them with compelling content. Original web series can serve 2 markets: branded entertainment and the studio production model. Branded entertainment provides a new way to engage a user as you noted, and, the studios now have a new method to test original material on a low-cost basis before developing into a TV series, movie, video game, etc.

    Chase Norlin

  2. Jonathan Mirow from BroadbandVideo, Inc., December 7, 2010 at 1:37 p.m.

    Yup - all correct. That's why we've been creating long-form, niche entertainment since 2008. We picked up an Emmy in 2009 in the General Multimedia catagory for an hour long web-only show. Check out our stuff at Note to Google - we're cheaper than Groupon and much more fun.

  3. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, December 7, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.

    "Smart reach" may be the best euphemism yet for no scale.

  4. Jeff Bach from Quietwater Media, December 7, 2010 at 5:36 p.m.

    Inquiring minds want to know how well last year's predictions turned out ?!

    Surprised to see anything ipad-centric absent from the list. Not quite mobile, not quite desktop, but fast growing and entertainment-oriented.

  5. Justin Foster from Liveclicker, December 8, 2010 at 12:17 a.m.

    Coming at video from the e-commerce standpoint, I think "Smart Reach" is the most insightful of these predictions.

    @Mike Einstein, coming from the hardcore brand marketer perspective, I can appreciate why 'smart reach' is a deal killer for now, 100%, in the context of working with many large brands. I'm on the same page as you there.

    I think the broader point is that there are converging trends where even large brands are looking for better tie-in to results - closer to the bottom of the conversion funnel. At the same time, sales-focused brands are starting to reach out more toward the top of the funnel.

    I come from the e-commerce world, which is highly analytics driven, specifically w/regard to correlating sales to marketing spend. In 2010, e-commerce will comprise something like 6% or 7% of holiday sales (USA). Still a drop in the bucket. But the industry shouldn't be ignored. Ad retargeting is *blisteringly hot* in the e-commerce space. Why? It's the only form of online display advertising w/reach to the RIGHT PEOPLE that's consistently been shown to deliver positive ROI., for example, spends 90% of their online display ad budget on retargeting.

    I still think we're a ways off from total integration between brand and direct marketing, but it is happening. As more sales move online, this trend will be impossible for brand marketers to ignore forever. The long arc of the Internet points to accountability and results (at least, that's the direct marketer's point-of-view ;-)


  6. Pooky Amsterdam from PookyMedia, December 11, 2010 at 3:58 p.m.

    Great list and couldn't agree more -
    Branded entertainment and webisodes have so much going for them.
    Video as part of a Transmedia strategy is what we are recommending now as well.

    We are bringing in clients to our message. We are trying to communicate what we believe to those we wish to serve. And we want our customers to understand our message. These are all considerations which are met in effective film-making.

    Because what people remember is that you made you smile, touched their heart or gave them some important information. We now snack on video morsels, instead of sitting down to a whole 4 or 5 program nightly meal. To grab that attention feed your audience what it needs, in a format it understands with characters that are likeable and reflect your brand.
    We use real - time animation which is also opens up trying new things digitally.
    What a great year this will be !

  7. Yaniv Axen, December 12, 2010 at 6:23 a.m.

    Great Predictions Chris.
    I believe that in 2011 marketers will begin to utilize the multi-platform trait of video to communicate with their customers via mobile devices.
    @Justin, following your line of thought, I think that video retargeting is the next big thing.


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