Online video ad spending will continue its rapid trajectory this year, and into the next two years, with high double-digit rises as marketers move money from traditional video into digital video, predicted ZenithOptimedia, in its latest advertising market forecast. Overall ad spending in the U.S. in 2012 should rise 4.3% this year, an upward revision from ZenithOptimedia’s 3.6% prediction this summer.
Online video, though a small portion of overall spending, is on track for big increases. Online video ad spend should rise 29% this year compared to 2011, with another 29% year-over-year growth forecast for 2013, and 27% growth for 2014. “While TV spending remains strong, marketers are shifting traditional video into online and other digital formats,” ZenithOptimedia said.
The media firm is basing these estimates on viewership and on the big boosts in the time viewers spend with video, which has grown consistently throughout the year. The average U.S. unique video viewer is watching about 36 minutes of video content per day as of July 2012, up 21% from the year before, ZenithOptimedia said.
The success of the Olympics will also help drive digital video ad sales. The Games were a TV hit, as well as a digital success, proving the consumer appetite for online video for such events. NBC’s $60 million in digital ad sales in the U.S. and 20 million total hours of streamed video is good for the digital video business, ZenithOptimedia added in its report.
Multi-platform dealmaking should also help drive online video dollars. “The start of the new TV season will see the fruition of upfront negotiations that incorporated bits of online video,” ZenithOptimedia said. “Agencies and advertisers are challenging the marketplace to arrive at consistent measurement methodology to be applied across screens. Companies like Nielsen OCR and comScore vCE are working hard to solve for this and have gained significant traction in the marketplace….Next year’s upfront will likely see even more online video negotiated. The next step for agencies and measurement companies to solve is tying audience cross-platform consumption and attribution.”
Along those lines, Nielsen announced that its cross-platform ratings system that incorporates TV and online metrics is commercially available after testing with companies including ESPN, Facebook, GroupM, Hulu, Unilever and others. This is the latest step in Nielsen’s efforts to turn the GRP into a digital video standard as well.