I'm still not convinced that digital video needs an upfront, but I will say this - if you're going to stage one, you better introduce some new shows. And that, at the very least, is what the big Web giants have done so far at the Digitas NewFront, a two-week Web video fete featuring presentations by Yahoo, AOL, Hulu, Microsoft, YouTube and others in front of agencies and brands in New York.
The mobile video ad market will surpass the online video ad market later this year. That's a bold prediction, but it's one Tod Sacerdoti, CEO of ad network BrightRoll is making based on ad requests he's seen. "It's happening fast and people are not quite comprehending the speed. By the end of this year we are pretty confident that more than half of all digital video ads will be mobile," he said.
You've seen the studies about the huge growth in online video ads, as well as the boost in ad loads in Web shows. But guess what? Consumers aren't quite as fond of the commercial messages as those of us in the business. When asked what frustrates them most about watching video over the web, about half of Internet users who consume broadband video said there are too many ads during the shows.
Google-owned YouTube rolled out a number of new initiatives to lure more marketers to the video-sharing site and to ad opportunities in video across the Web. The goal is to build on YouTube's growing success with video advertising including its early AdWords for video efforts. On average, YouTube video ads drive a 20% increase in traffic to a business' Web site and a 5% increase in searches for that business, according to a blog entry YouTube posted quietly over the weekend.
What's even more impressive than the record number of online video ads served up in March is the year-over-year growth. Late last week, comScore reported that Americans had watched more than 8.3 billion online video ads in March, a record month. That 8.3 billion figure is also a doubling of the number of ads served up just one year ago. According to an analysis of comScore's own figures, in March 2011 Americans had watched 4.3 billion online video ads. That makes the March 2012 number a 93% increase in one year.
Nearly two-thirds of marketers say they consider online video as a complement to TV rather than a replacement for TV, while only 10% look at online video as a replacement, according to Adap.tv's just-released state of the video industry report for the first quarter of 2012. Those are reassuring data points for the advertising business in general because they suggest that neither medium is cannibalizing ad dollars from the other, and that the two - online video and TV - can work together.
Video is on pace to account for about half of all Web traffic by 2014, according to a just-released report from Experian on consumer media habits. No surprise there, but what's interesting is where video consumption is coming from. Mobile video traffic is on a quick upward trajectory as more people watch YouTube videos and TV shows on their cell phones and tablets, but mobile video traffic is also rising because of email, and specifically because of brand videos in email communications.
How can choice influence ad effectiveness? Blip said that about 40% of pre-roll ads delivered against its videos are now choice-based and that these ads perform, on average, 36% better than regular pre-roll ads. Specifically, Blip found from campaigns run in 2011 that when users are given the choice to interact with an ad by selecting which pre-roll they want to view, about 80% of the time they do indeed make a choice. Plus, click-through rates are 2% and completion rates 80% for these types of ads, higher than the industry average.
More than 25% of all video viewing in broadband homes in the U.S. is taking place on venues besides the TV, according to fresh data from research firm, Parks Associates. That includes PCs, smartphones and tablets, and that's also a weekly figure, underscoring that off-TV viewing is becoming a regular behavior for consumers. What's more, about one-third of homes said they'd streamed a TV show in the past 30 days.
If you want to boost video views for your Web series, the conventional wisdom is you might want to find a celebrity. Easier said than done, but while watching this Cindy Crawford video from SheKnows.com in its "Mommalogues " dedicated video blog site, I started thinking maybe it's NOT too hard to find a celebrity. I'm not discounting the effort and money it takes to sign up a celebrity or well-known person for a Web series. But this video demonstrates that you don't have to ask a star to do that much. The video is less than one minute long, …