Report: Web Video and TV Hooking Up - The 2012 Q1 State of the Online Video Industry Report

written by: Richard Kastelein

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According to Digiday’s semi-annual poll of predominately digital agencies, brands, publishers and ad networks or intermediaries, the rate of planning television and online video ads together will grow by more than 50% in the coming year. Specifically, 48% of advertisers and agencies already are planning TV and video together, and 25% more will be doing so within the next 12 months. Among leading video buyers, nearly three quarters of all online video buyers will be planning TV and interactive video together by this time next year.

Given the choice of with which medium online video should be most aligned – TV, online display or “other” – respondents said TV by more than 23% over those who said display. An 11% minority still said they think online video represents a new medium entirely, but even fewer respondents suggested that online video might be a replacement for TV.

Online Video Alignment (% of Respondents)





Align with




Time frame

   Within 12 months


   Current plan


Source: AdapTV/Dididay, April 2012

Nearly two-thirds of respondents across the industry (62%) said that their use of online video is more likely to be a complement to TV rather than a replacement for TV, up slightly from last year.


How Video Buyers View Online Video


% of Respondents

As direct complement to TV


As replacement for TV




Source: AdapTV/Dididay, April 2012

That said, only 20% of advertisers said they expect to buy their video advertising this year “at an upfront,” and for 54% of respondents it was anticipated to be less than 5% of their total 2012 purchase, down 10% from 2011.

Two-thirds of buyers say that a key factor in fusing TV and online video is unified measurement. 73% of respondents say that brand engagement is their primary campaign objective.

Though “brand lift” was cited by both advertisers and their agencies as the best metric of success in measuring online video ad campaigns, the two remain divided when it comes to click-throughs. Agencies put click-throughs near the bottom of their list of favored metrics, but brands ranked it third, ahead of common TV metrics. And, TV-centric metrics, GRP and TRP, have moved into double digits now reflecting industry efforts to try to synergize television and digital video metrics.

A key impetus to online video ad buying is a marked rise in video inventory sourcing via automated environments. Advertisers who are demanding pricing efficiency are finding it from:

  • Exchanges (29% vs. 15% in 2011)
  • Demand-side platforms or DSPs (32% vs. 15% in 2011)  
  • Trading desks (27%)

Overall, the outlook for online video budgets is strong, with 96% of brands, agencies and ad networks estimating that their budgets will increase an average of 23% in 2012. Greater than 80% of publishers said that CPMs are up an average of 11% from 2011. More than 83% of publishers said their fill rate is up by nearly 14% from last year.

For the year ahead, the study analysis concludes that the industry should:

  • Look for growth to continue in online video ad uptake, in tandem with digital television planning
  • Look for publishers to accelerate efforts to move video buyers onto private marketplaces but also to expand their efforts into custom and branded content as a way of deepening their most important one-to-one relationships
  • Look for both buyers and sellers to try to coalesce around an engagement metric for SiSoMo that aligns campaign aims in both television and online video
  • Expect the continued expansion of RTB platforms in online video, and for buying efficiencies participants experience to put pressure on television content producers to offer similar buying solutions to displace the television upfront once and for all

For more information from Digiday, please visit here, and complete slides are available here.

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