And that potential is too great to ignore. According to ABI research, over 1 billion people across the globe will regularly watch video content of some sort on the Internet by 2013. In the United States alone, Forrester Research has reported that video advertising will surpass $7 billion by 2012, constituting a 72% growth rate in the market. Clearly, both publishers and advertisers can have this pot of gold if they can get past the rainbow.
While the logic behind the growth of ad networks is solid -- aggregating ad inventory so that advertisers can target specific, niche audiences -- the reality of managing or building relationships with multiple ad networks can be a time consuming, frustrating exercise.
If you're a publisher with a wide range of video content, you may have to work with multiple ad networks to maximize revenue. Currently though, cutting individual deals and managing multiple relationships and advertising feeds can be an unwieldy process that doesn't scale. Publishers need to have the ability to pick and choose the best performing ad networks while still being able to leverage their own in-house ads and do it in a scalable way.
The global nature of the Internet presents another challenge for publishers when it comes to earning revenue. Most ad networks focus on a very limited number of countries and have trouble producing revenue outside that area. This leaves publishers with the video serving cost, but little or no monetization in other areas of the world. By working with a global partner, ad coverage and monetization are simpler to attain.
The proliferation of ad networks has also exposed the need for standards and compatibility. Publishers need to effectively navigate formats and standards to run the best performing ad creatives without any limitations. Given the relative infancy of video advertising, standards and formats are all over the map, which means additional complexity and integration burdens for publishers. To alleviate these roadblocks, publishers need a solution that seamlessly supports all ad types so they can make that best match for their video content, while maximizing their revenue and user experience. For example, pre-roll video ads are a good option for some video content. For other video content, overlay ads are a better option.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of tunnel as publisher-friendly solutions are beginning to emerge that tackle all the above challenges. Motivated publishers should exercise due diligence in testing and finding a turnkey solution that can work with all ad networks and all formats while providing a single point of control to pick their spots and track their results along the way. With advanced tools and settings and highly relevant targeting, publishers can make the explosive surge of ad networks work to their advantage to monetize their online video content without comprising quality and reach. The sky is the limit.