One of the most exciting, validating stages of emerging media hitting its stride is when a single media sphere becomes an identifiable, robust, sustaining industry unto itself, with options galore. How does this go down? Simply put, a media type -- search, social, mobile -- comes into its own by first becoming a planning and spending category for agencies. Then, it proves itself as a revenue-generating sector within the ad economy -- and is under constant study and manhandling by all of us. Onward it goes, to show up as a bucket and multiple lines on a Jack Myers report -- instead of just one.
Before we know it, the little media-type-that-could is an industry within the industry, with its own conferences and thought leaders and public debate on its worthiness. And it persists as it sorts itself out, to be an incubator of sub-disciplines and pockets of opportunity that are vetted, adopted or shed over time.
We've loved this expansion trend when it comes to the wide world of search; social paving the way to social commerce; mobile diversification, apps and connected devices; and the ever bountiful realms of display and video. Notably, on those last two - we can even say that display is experiencing a new boom right now. We see this as big brands, media companies and industry innovators take a fresh look at doing display bigger and better -- and as the automation wave (exchanges, DSPs, AMPs, and so on) promises to transport us to new scale on the wings of audience data. Display is back, big time.
But let's also take a look at video. As we have seen over the past few years, video is no longer just "video advertising." True, video advertising numbers continue to jet, with spending up 40% last year according to eMarketer, and expected to be up 52% in the current year. Truer still, the options and formats continue to mature, thanks to the cooperation of media, creative and technology interests. Formats are generally more engaging, with in-stream, pre-roll, overlay, in-banner, in-text and webisode options all available to marketers who want to create engagement within their advertising.
More good news: We see more compatibility across players and devices. So, cross-platform is more elegant. Metrics are evolving. Video ad networks are growing up as supportive media environments. And, in the background of all this, the IAB has provided us standards and best practices to take full advantage of this emerging, maturing marketplace, and do so skillfully.
With all that true, and with deal-making between legacy network, cable and new media companies constantly in play, we are fueling the environment all day long for video. Geoff Ramsey and others continue to say that even with these climbing numbers on video advertising, the biggest opportunity for marketers is still original content creation. This requires the marketer to go all in to conceive, produce, distribute and measure such content. This requires having the team, staff and/or agencies able to do so. This requires deepening knowledge of your consumers and what makes them laugh, cry, watch, co-create, share and so on. This requires high imagination quotient.
I'm personally hoping that with the options advancing so much in this space, video will be the next great area of considered, bold investment. Just look around at some of the great examples of branded entertainment being executed. I do believe that these next two years are when we will see video hitting its stride.