Significant changes are under way in online video and will begin percolating into the every day experiences of consumers in the coming year. Videos will be more interactive, relevant to interests, and found in more places than ever as they displace display ads on top Web sites. End of year predictions are not unusual, but changes are rarely so impactful as what’s in store for online video in 2014. New technologies and the rapid growth of ad spending are driving it. 2013 brought the single largest percentage growth in ad revenue ever, and the market is predicted to exceed $9 billion in the U.S. in the coming months. A 2013 study by Cisco found that online video is the fastest growing consumer service offering, with over 1 billion users.
Cisco estimates that another billion users will be watching online video by 2017 – eclipsing the popularly of Facebook and Twitter. That fact has not escaped brands that are constantly looking for more relevant ways to connect with consumers, who will soon start to see more and more video ads in place of display on some of their favorite Web sites. The catch is ensuring that video ads are aligned with high quality, engaging content and that the content is relevant to both the brand and to the audience they are trying to reach
Recent studies are revealing that consumers are demanding advertising experiences that relate to their lives. Facebook has responded by developing a creative review process to ensure high quality short form content. Other ad networks are embracing technologies like predictive or entity search to align ads with people’s personal interests. Advertisers can obtain more accurate personality profiles through a combination of search history, social media interactions, and sales data.
Interactive Video Will Target The Individual Consumer
Changes in online video will appear throughout the year as advertisers implement techniques to help meet shifting consumer expectations. These could take the form of social buttons that lay over top content and allow consumers to select the ads that they want to see. Other approaches will be deeply immersive such as semantic search which enables advertising platforms to understand context of content. Imagine watching a video clip or an ad, featuring James Bond. Bond is drinking one of his trademark martinis; you tap on his drink and a pop-up tells you the brand of vodka that 007 prefers. You could then pause what you’re viewing to find a local store. The mission for deeper relevance has brought semantic search into the mainstream and is unlocking new possibilities to deliver ads that add value beyond relevance. Google, Bing and Yahoo have all made great strides in 2013 to improve their search. Consumers want answers that match their queries, not a list of results that may or may not have to do with what they are searching for. Mobile market penetration has the added requirement of not only providing relevant information, but also delivering it in real-time. Videos ads will be a popular way to do that.
Brands Will Utilize More Sophisticated Distribution Models
Brands will continue to move away from simply posting content to YouTube, and are hoping that consumers will embrace more sophisticated distribution models. These models will give them access to a high quality audience at scale, in relevant places through recommendations engines and/or networks powered by semantic technology. Video ads make it possible to reach consumers via a media source they prefer; to capture and share moments of their lives, but only if the content is delivered on the consumer’s terms.
2014 is poised to be the year where brands fully embrace online video. As advertisers are adapting to this new reality, consumers will see remarkable changes to the way they experience the Web and videos will become a gateway to related content and information.
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