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Mobile's Fortune Drives Digital Video Growth

Online video viewing is on the rise, and so are online video dollars.

Okay, fine, that’s not rocket science to connect the two. Even so, a handful of new research reports point to a sustained surge in the online video ad market that’s being fueled by consumer reliance on mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets.

Driven by a huge overall growth in mobile advertising, digital video ads generated $1.5 billion in ad revenue in the first half of 2014, a 13% rise over the same period in 2013, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau tracking the digital ad business. Overall, mobile  advertising grew 76%, and that growth spilled into other areas of digital, including video. The video increase stems from new “viewing paradigms” on both small and large screens, IAB said in its report.

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Mobile advertising hit $5.3 billion total for the first half of 2014, up 76% from $3 billion for the same period a year ago. Programmatic buying is also playing a role in driving the spending increase. Mobile accounts for 44% of all U.S. programmatic display ad spending, or $4.44 billion, and will reach 56% next year, eMarketer has said.

There’s room for video to grow, though. Digital video comprises only 6% of the digital ad pie, which checked in at $23.1 billion for the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, Adobe reported a 43% increased in global online video starts in the second quarter, which saw 38.2 billion starts thanks in part of the June World Cup. About 26% of those starts took place on mobile devices.

Consumers don’t always finish the videos they start on mobile screens, though. Fewer than 17% of mobile videos were viewed to 75% completion. Videos viewed on desktops were three times more likely to hit the 75% completion mark.

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