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.

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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