Exchange-based buying still struggles to gain traction, however.
Brand advertisers are continuing to divert ad spend away from broadcast TV and toward online video, advertising agencies say. Despite that fact, most prefer to acquire inventory direct from publishers and networks rather than exchanges and demand-side platforms.
Speaking at Streaming Media East panel in New York City today, representatives from Zenith Media and Aegis Media said their brand-focused clients - particularly those in the consumer packaged goods sector - are growing their investment in online video consistently, as audiences continue to diversify their content consumption habits.
"CPG clients will continue to spend a lot on video to replace the erosion of audiences for TV," said Gina Smilyansky, digital strategy director at Aegis-owned Carat, in reference to users' increased use of devices such as laptops and tablets. Carat currently works with CPG giant Procter & Gamble, with Smilyansky focusing on the Gillette brand.
Meanwhile, Zenith Media's Integrated Planning SVP John Nitti described a similar trend among his firm's clients, many of which "are looking to make up for falling audiences in broadcast." He too suggested online video ad investment would continue to grow, especially as agencies and brands become more familiar with identifying key performance indicators and return on investment from those campaigns. Zenith works with clients including General Mills and Nestle in the online video space.
As with online display media, increasing amounts of video inventory are now being made available through demand-side platforms and exchanges, which - in theory - enables advertisers to buy media targeted to niche audiences. Despite that fact, Nitti and Smilyansky suggested the majority of video inventory is still being acquired through direct relationships with publishers or through networks.
"Most clients are comfortable with moving into online with premium, professionally produced content," Nitti said, suggesting the majority of inventory currently available through exchanges doesn't necessarily meet those criteria. "It's also a question of long-form versus short-form. There's a difference between sitting down and opting in to watch a 27-minute show versus a five-minute video," he added.
Likewise, Smilyansky admitted her agency buys relatively little video inventory for brand clients on a data-driven or behaviorally targeted basis. "We're used to doing so in display, but not so much in video yet," she said, adding that it is something "clients like P&G would definitely be interested in" if it could be achieved across well-lit environments at scale - criteria on which she said the space currently under-delivers.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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