Video advertising would appear to be a powerful brand-building tool. But it is also an expensive tool, and advertisers need proof video advertising is driving the desired result in order to justify continued investment. In the absence of real-time data on overall campaign performance and that of the creative, placement, and frequency levels driving the performance, a lot of money can be spent without producing the desired outcome. When proactively managed, however, advertisers and the publishers they work with can create impressive results.
Here they come: the network presentations. Every year, the third week of May marks the start of the major broadcast networks' upfronts in New York City. The big boys in the network world rent out huge venues, trot out the stars of their new shows, and party to celebrate the fact that TV viewership is near an all time high, which means CPMs will be as well. One thing, however, is different this year. The networks realize that digital video should be a part of the discussion,
Almost 30 years ago, on July 29, 1981, 750 million people worldwide tuned in to watch Prince Charles and Lady Diana tie the knot -- mostly through quaint old live television. If you missed it, there were news programs rerunning endless highlight reels, and maybe you had a VCR, a kid in AV club, and a blank tape. Chances are, you didn't have cable yet -- MTV, the cable station that brought cable subscriptions to a new level with their "I want my MTV" campaign, would debut just three days after the Royal Wedding.
With demand for streaming content clearly established, publishers have shifted from testing digital video advertising to bringing ad revenues toward parity with broadcast. Most publishers face two big hurdles to expanding revenues: Providing enough inventory to meet growing demand and fulfilling sold campaigns efficiently.
Contrary to popular belief, mobile video inventory is now far outstripping the demand from advertisers -- and many players in the ecosystem have an incentive to present mobile inventory as being constrained. Well, the jig is up. As Ray Kurzweil says, we tend to think linearly but information technology scales exponentially. The confluence of three factors have driven this massive growth in mobile video inventory:
It's no secret that the Internet has deeply damaged traditional media when they have directly competed. In the case of music and newspaper classifieds, the Internet provided a superior way to consume content. In the case of radio, listenership held up but advertisers abandoned radio for the Internet. In the case of magazines, the Internet has cannibalized both readership and advertisers. Traditional broadcast and cable video advertising, on the other hand, has not been significantly harmed by the Internet and remains the most valuable form of large-scale advertising. That may soon change, as the emerging technology of real-time bidding has …
I see headlines week after week about the explosive growth of online video, but all too often they seem narrowly focused on how to syndicate video on YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, etc. While it's great that there are more venues for video than ever before (and even better that companies no longer need to rely on hugely expensive options like television to maximize their reach), if all your business is doing is repackaging the same old corporate brand videos in more places, valuable opportunities are being missed.
With so many professionals expecting 2011 to become the year that online video goes mainstream with marketers and finally garners the ad dollars to reflect that fact, content owners and distributors are facing inversely related challenges that prevent them from growing faster. While ad dollars continue to flow away from print, television and online display (and to a lesser extent, search) to online video, there is a dearth of premium, brand-safe, click-to-play ad inventory available.
Just about every day, new press accounts reinforce the exploding demand for online video content by marketers. With this consensus seemingly in place, I asked myself the question: What are brands really looking for in online video? Well, I decided to do some serious investigation. I contacted about two dozen marketers I know from Fortune 100 companies and asked them that question. The responses reinforced that yes, marketers want MORE online video, and they don't want to have to pay a lot. And here's what the Fortune 100 marketers told me they're looking for, in order of importance: