Predictions are always a tricky thing. In the past couple years it's been easy. There were gaping holes in video advertising as compared to other forms, but last year saw many of them closed. With 2013 now here the question is, what will the new year bring with it? I spoke to a couple industry leaders about just that and have a few thoughts of my own on it.
Because of the cost of both video production and video advertising I think the main drive to continued expansion will have to be better real-time data. Without being able to quickly see the trends and react to them it's hard to hit the highest ROI possible. I think we'll see a refining process or perhaps a fine-tuning process in the information that is being provided to the ad buyer. Many of the metrics that we have are based on older forms of advertising and aren't exactly the best they can be. Views are subjective, iGRP is still in its infancy, etc. As all of these metrics mature we will eventually see a 'perfect fit' which combines several of these major metrics to give ad buyers a quick idea of how well their campaigns are performing.
In terms of actual video advertising? More interaction is the way of the future. There are still loads of video ads I see that are nothing more than digitized TV ads. Many advertisers seems to still be missing out on the whole interaction thing and with the rise of connected TV, interaction is going to continue to grow as well. That means some new, more interesting video ad forms will evolve into interactive experiences instead of lean back. It also means that viewers should have more control over the ad experience by being offered more choice in what ads are offered.
Finally, I think it's safe to say that by the end of 2013, you will need to be showing over one billion video ads a month to make it into the comScore video metrix charts for video ad properties. December saw the 10th place network, Tremor Video, showing 703 million and the number one network, BrightRoll showing over 1.77 billion ads. Hopefully everyone will manage to maintain that low frequency, clearly Hulu is going in the opposite direction and I bet they hit 80 ads per viewer each month (62.5 as of December).
Suranga Chandratillake - Blinkx Founder
Suranga gives a broader overall view including mobile, enterprise and connected TV across several predictions for 2013.
- Mobile break-point: we're going to see a number of key activities on the web occur more on mobile than on desktop. Local Search will be the first to fall (may have already fallen), but I think regular search, social networking (especially micro-social networking like twitter and photo-based), and even news-consumption hit the break-point in 2012. Given that very few companies actually have a meaningful business model for mobile this is both an exhilarating and terrifying change.
- Enterprise is back: the investors have already spoken with their feet, but in general I think we're going to see some really interesting companies come out of Enterprise vs. Consumer next year. In particular, I think we're going to see cloud-models that were built for consumers or pro-sumers (think of things like DropBox) get translated over and I think a lot of really interesting big data stuff is going to happen in enterprise, not consumer.
- Connected TV: I put this one on every year, more out of hope than any precise belief. Someone has to crack the killer app that makes Connected TV make sense for regular consumers. It won't come from second screens (reputedly have atrocious engagement rates) and I don't think Google or Apple are going to figure it out.
Jeff Whacott - Brightcove CMO
Jeff gave me a few minutes of his time to tell us what he thinks will be going on in online video for marketing in 2013:
- The use of video will be the single fastest growing tactic for content marketers.
- Live event streaming will continue to grow as marketers and media companies figure out how to use live to build and engage their audiences.
- This will be a make or break year for Windows 8 tablets and phones. Many organizations are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if Windows 8 devices will take off before they invest in targeting content and apps for the platform.
- HTML5 proceeds through the hype cycle. 2011 was the year of impossible expectations for HTML5. 2012 was the trough of disillusionment. 2013 will be the year everyone recognizes that HTML5 is not a panacea, but it is tremendously powerful when used skillfully for the mobile web and hybrid apps.
Tod Sacerdoti - BrightRoll CEO/Founder
Tod just wrote something up for someone else so I have to pull some of that in. He believes that brands will start moving toward single-platform solutions, there will be more video exchanges, audience delivery guarantee will be the target metric and mobile ad inventory will expand to about video ad inventory size.
For more on what Tod had to say about each of those, head over to the blog post.
Chris Young DBG (Digital Broadcasting Group) CEO
Chris gives us his view of the upcoming year which breaks down into three areas, branded content, mobile video ads and big data.
There’s no question that from both a content and distribution perspective, 2012 was a banner year for online video. With the groundwork laid for what figures to be an even more exciting year ahead in 2013, let’s take a look at some of the trends I think will shape the next 365 days in our industry.
Brands Will Become Broadcasters
This first theme has really taken shape over the last few months, and that’s the idea that through a combination of original content created for social channels and branded entertainment, more brands will become broadcasters. In today’s incredibly fragmented digital landscape, finding a consumer is becoming more difficult than ever before. In addition to the 30-second spot or display advertising, our conversations in the marketplace are signaling that more brands are using BE to supplement their already existing online advertising strategies.
Emphasis on Mobile Video Advertising
Mobile video audiences have increased 77% over the last two years according to Nielsen, so it’s no surprise that online advertisers have taken a liking to mobile ads. The promise of the third screen has been touted for some time now, but with stats like that, it’s safe to say that the third screen is no longer coming soon – it’s here. And with its arrival has come a significant, rapid uptick in mobile video pre-roll, something that I expect we will only see more of in the next 12 months.
The Importance of Big Data and Content Adjacency Will Come into Focus
If the quality of online video is being compared to that of television, there’s no reason why marketers shouldn’t be allowed to buy their advertising in a similar fashion. Quality programming is evolving and garnering large audiences, but those audiences aren’t just coming through sites anymore – they’re coming through social channels as well. That’s why I’d expect 2013 to be a year in which marketers will buy advertising with greater specificity, focusing on the content itself rather than the host site. But how will marketers know which shows to buy against? The answer lies in big data and analytics tools, which will continue to disrupt the online video space in the year ahead.
Dailymotion Thought Leaders
Roland Hamilton, Managing Director Dailymotion US on the online video space at large:
"You're going to see a breakout of new and innovative discovery options for finding and consuming video content this year on all platforms. With content now available on virtually any device in the household, and debuting on new services every day, we won't just see more video this year but an ever growing number of ways to find it -- and technologies that pair it to the viewers' interests. The explosion of mobile consumption on smart phones, tablets and set-top services like Xbox live means top video providers need to make themselves available everywhere that audiences are going to consume content.”
Neil Gladstone, VP Content for Dailymotion US on content trends for the year:
"More independent and artistic creators are producing high-quality, original content than ever before, redefining what it means to be a 'premium provider.' With multiple programs available from top video sites such as our Motionmakers program, anyone with a brilliant idea and the capacity to execute it can enjoy prominent venues to distribute fresh material to a wide audience. It’s more important than ever for creators to craft succinct, targeted material catering to niche and specialized audiences to really generate traffic and get traction with communities of viewers.”
Happy New Year!
Overall video looks to be ready to mature as well as grow this year. Branded content and mobile video are both set to expand and connected TV should finally become a force. There are connected TVs in 25% of American households. A jump to even 50% this year could make them a major way for people to interact with that traditionally lean back content.