Digital Video Ad Spend and Billings Viability of Time-Based Formats In Non-Linear Channels

Date: 2015-10

Premium digital video publishers, their agencies and brand marketer partners have settled expectations regarding the migration of linear TV to VOD advertising paradigms that are time-based, carving out pods of inventory inserted sequentially into long-form programming online.

Marketers place their bets where impressions inspire confidence, regardless of viewer orientation, thus directing demand toward in-stream inventoryprojected to capture 46.6% of digital video ad spend in 2015 (including mobile, in-app, VOD/OTT), according to the industry trade resource DigitalVideo Ad Spendand BillingsViability of Time-Based Formats In Non-Linear Channels, produced by AccuStream Research.
This 2015 edition analyzes a decade of billings by format and spot length across the desktop, now incorporating mobile, social, custom media player, VOD and Authenticated Sign-in,inventory pricing models and CPMs, emerging video executions and formats, plus respective growth trajectories, including their long-term market viability as exploitation engines.

All publisher categories have embraced variations of timed monetization techniques (such asmedia impressions seen versus time spent on site, number of pages viewed, pages turned, video content runtime, number of video viewed etc.) offered against content of varying lengths routed through IP video channels.

Even as digital video ad format innovations roll through the marketplace, some designed to incentivize audiences to opt-in, others that utilize novel areas of screen real estate, incorporate elements of interactivity or map-in smarter target audience profiling data/attributes, the first position, in-stream ad messaging endures; our ad sales analysis shows the continued success of ad-supported IP video is predicated on its long-term viability.

Whether IP video audiences are in lean forward, lean back or multi-device orientation, despite ad defeat schemes and pop-up blocker browser settings or clever user workarounds, not even less-than-ideal impression and adtech execution have compelled marketers to abandon the format, estimated to produce 49.1% of the business by 2017.

Short form video clips (produced by premium broadcast, internet pure-play, syndicated to blogs, magazine publishers and affiliated networks), text content or other published online media sold or positioned against multiple digital video formats exhibit less standardization.

As video marketing opportunities have expanded over the past five years, so has the dispersion of digital video ad budgets, with increased billings flowing into integrating social commentary, sponsored post,earned media/viral placements,in-player content packaging, search/player recommends and assorted embedded auto-play units.
Together, these executions, along with the widely deployed in-banner video format, acknowledge and strengthen an emerging hybrid media landscape, where consumption patterns are morphing, blending and co-mingling inventories delivered against cross-device cumulative and simultaneous broadcast viewing.

Ongoing research shows spot lengths routinely fall between 15-seconds to 2:50-seconds, with longer info messaging often skippable. Inventory also exhibits seasonality, with 4th Q. avails often exceeding time allocated on the linear broadcast clock.

Excluding in-banner sales, emerging digital video executions are projected to capture 25.7%spend share by 2017, with the total market sizeforecast at $14 billion in spend.
Pioneered by Google’s YouTube, skippable in-stream inventory reduces marketer risk, and is an inducement, pulling in more brandspend.

It’s also a response to an immature marketplace, undervalued mobile media, adtech implementation hiccups, sales inefficiencies inherent in early stagecross-channel inventory exploitation and the ever present nod to more consumer control over their programming choices.

The TV remote control did not obsolete the linear television monetization formula, and we believe skip inventory (and other performance-driven executions outside the media player)will distinguish, rather than diminish the importance of non-skip, in-player inventory.

Further, AvailPlayAudience and Impression Monitoring conducted by AccuStream Researchindicates that while the marketplace has trained its sights on rapid allocation of video inventory, achieving an overall balanced content and advertising value exchange across audience constituencies comparable to television has yet to be realized. Moreover, while there are expanding sets of devices and access options, video libraries still trickle out online.

Those obstacles have impact on growth and by design moderate what is an inevitable migration to IP video environments, but they have not deterred today’s audiences from watching nor blunted marketer enthusiasm for buying; the framework for a promising business is there.

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