Commentary

Video Trends: Buyers Look To Long-Form Content

At FreeWheel, we see a lot of video. Like each of our clients and partners, we want this ecosystem to grow.  That’s why we issue our quarterly Video Monetization Reports, so stakeholders can learn from the trends.

One trend we’re seeing is TV networks  ramping up efforts for a world where long-form content is widely distributed via the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs.  And these efforts are having a noticeable impact, as evidenced by monetization trends, distribution efforts, and advertising demand by media buyers.  

Today, shorter-form content still represents the majority of the content out there.  In fact, the most recent iteration of our report highlighted the predominance of short-form content being distributed by both digital pure plays and linear + digital networks. 

At the same time, TV buyers interested in reaching audiences who are increasingly online are seeking long-form content, and want the networks to make it easier to buy against this longer-form content alongside TV.   In the current upfront marketplace, it appears that both the TV networks and buyers are transacting significant advertising volume on this basis.

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In the eyes of media buyers, the digital pure plays are not quite there yet.  In fact, a group of digital media buyers recently penned a  letter calling on ad sellers to get their act together via efficient buying practices and promotional activity. 

We expect the technological improvements of TV Everywhere, authentication, live simulcasting, VOD, second-screen/mobile, and other initiatives to accelerate the trend toward long-form programming by the TV networks even further.  And more long-form programming creates a virtuous circle in increasing consumer demand and viewership. 

And finally, we see the ability to have a higher number of ads appearing in long-form content (we currently measure more than 9 ads per long-form content from the Linear segment) as an even more important incentive for networks to accelerate their efforts.

TV networks have an excellent ability to monetize their content and consumers are not showing resistance to increasing ad loads.   We see large audiences being developed online for these networks, expanding upon their existing prime time loyalties.  Networks that have done a great job in distributing their content --- both long form and short form --- will capture even more viewers in the digital space as the market progresses.

In short, we see great progress from the linear TV segment in monetizing its content, with runway for much, much more.

We support the efforts of the buying community to see the workflow improvements (making efforts to buy content more efficient) and for further promotion (making it easier for viewers to be able to discover new content).  It’s early days for this segment, and the sky’s the limit for its growth.
2 comments about "Video Trends: Buyers Look To Long-Form Content".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, June 19, 2013 at 4:39 a.m.

    Re: "TV networks have an excellent ability to monetize their content and consumers are not showing resistance to increasing ad loads." Nonsense. I invite you to compare the comments and ratings in Apple's App Store for the BBC iPlayer (which is ad-free) vs ITV's player (which once made me watch 9 adverts before I could continue watching a program from the middle). Like many people, I uninstalled the latter because of the huge ad load.

  2. James McDonald from SuperString Theory, June 19, 2013 at 4:03 p.m.

    "consumers are not showing resistance to increasing ad loads". Really? What data is supporting that? Most data I see confirms that users are taking more control over their exposure to skip or avoid ads. And I'm an Ad guy! Web monetization will never be the same as the broadcast model (ave 22mins ads TV vs 9 mins per hr online) nor should it. Its a legacy model pre-remote control, its broken and honestly if you look at the real data the whole content model is approaching a tipping pt. And not in a good way. BTW- To end with the "Skies the limit" is a bit too sales speak for a CEO pumping up his product.

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