Anyone involved in online advertising is well aware of the concern by marketers, publishers and exchanges about the prevalence of phantom or robot traffic. Clearly, this is an issue worth exposing, as non-human traffic can eat away advertising dollars by artificially inflating traffic levels, remaining on a page long enough to trigger pre-roll ads, or worse yet, haphazardly clicking on PPC ads. The spotlight and blame for the phantom traffic issue seems to be focused in a single direction these days: online publishers. But blaming publishers alone is a bit of a copout, and it won't solve the problem.
Online video consumption continues to skyrocket. And yet online video advertising makes up a tiny fraction of marketer's overall digital budgets. According to eMarketer, of the $37 billion spent online last year, only 6% (or $2.3B) was spent on digital video. It's even worse when you compare online video with TV advertising. U.S. marketers spent $65 billion on TV advertising last year. Online video's $2.3 billion represents just 3.4% of the overall video pie. Does anyone except the TV industry think that still makes sense? Should 96.6% of your video budget be going to TV?
While Mark Cuban is one of the nicer investors on Shark Tank, his online diatribes are lightning rods: readers in turn violently agree or disagree (that's sometimes a byproduct of their envy, and how they feel about this maverick). Either way, Cuban's recent commentary on YouTube's success in building mobile views contained many accurate conclusions, even though how he reaches those conclusions raised some eyebrows.
All major publishers today have large sales teams that sell owned and operated (O&O) digital properties to advertisers, and often the most lucrative offering in their arsenal is digital video. Unfortunately, top publishers don't typically have as much digital video supply as their advertisers demand, so they end up turning away deals or restricting their potential in some way.
TV shows and long-form content have drawn the bulk of attention and much of the ad dollars in digital video, but a shift may be underway toward short-form videos. Consider these findings from the most recent FreeWheel report on video consumption habits.
What is aggregation? Miriam-Webster defines it as "a) the collecting of units or parts into a mass or whole and b) the condition of being so collected." As audiences and programs began and continued to fragment, more energy has been focused on aggregating audiences by all parts of the traditional television ecosystem.
After all of the hype leading up to the return of "Arrested Development" and its debut on Netflix, the company's stock slipped 6% earlier in the week. That sounds about right: Buy on the rumor, sell on the news.