With more consumers viewing online video, advertising in the channel is also gaining traction as marketers, publishers and agencies establish standards for it.
Online video ad spending is growing as fast as social media spend, said Nate Elliott, principal analyst at Forrester Research. The organization predicts that online video ad spending will reach $2 billion in the US in 2010 and $3 billion by 2014. In addition, Forrester found that 85% of US Web sites now offer in-stream video ads, and 63% of marketers surveyed said they are running online video ad spots.
“It works for publishers, marketers and users,” said Elliott. “Consumers are willing to live with it if the content is good enough.”
A challenge for online video advertising is that inventory is difficult to buy across publishers. “There is a fairly limited supply of premium content,” said Sean Kegelman, SVP of partnerships and corporate development at VivaKi. “On the technology side, we are still early compared to the evolution of display. But we are moving from first-party ad serving to third-party ad serving, which will provide more ability to target and buy based on performance.”
Last week, Adap.tv introduced an online video advertising marketplace with this problem in mind. The company is trying to make it easier to buy and sell inventory for online ads against audience. The practice is common in the display ad business, but not yet prevalent for online video, since it is more dynamic and can be more complex. Within the Adap.tv marketplace, advertisers can buy based on performance to serve better targeted ads.
“We are looking to revamp and recreate the way in which buyers and sellers can interact with each other,” said Toby Gabriner, president of Adap.tv. “We give publishers the ability to interact with more buyers and an additional sales channel, while buyers get transparency and access to inventory at a true price.”
To investigate what types of ads work, VivaKi, a Publicis Groupe digital agency, has launched “The Pool,” a research project comprised of publishers and advertisers brainstorming on the future of video impressions. Publishers AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and Hulu, participated, as did advertisers Samsung and Applebee’s.