Now that we have reached a new year and the upfront season is only a few months away, it is appropriate to reflect on the TV side of the video business. Recently, this arena has become ever more fascinating, with opportunity seemingly everywhere. Shifts in media consumption and the resulting shifts in the industry at large have been giving TV planners and buyers plenty of food for thought over the past several years. New trends emerging in the landscape include programmatic TV, cross-screen targeting, mobile video, and video ad-tech solutions. There’s never been a more interesting time in video and I’d suggest that trends in in-stream video and authenticated video viewing are the two largest triggers to further expansion.
As we look at in-stream video, it’s clear that there is no better solution for TV decision makers to transition into the digital marketplace. In fact, video tracking and reporting in this area now practically mirror the broadcast experience and often deliver more detailed metrics. Thanks to Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and Validated Campaign Essentials (VCE), we are seeing a bit of a revolution through standardization. Industry measurement standards like VAST and VPAID make in-stream an undeniably appealing proposition.
In 2015, we also find our industry getting greater bearings on monetization. For evidence, look no further than the rise of “TV Everywhere” and authentication. As TV Everywhere picks up its pace, so does authenticated video viewing. And, no longer daunted by the business opportunity, big media companies now believe this is a great revenue stream. We’ve tackled this on both short- and long-form content, and this is helping us build our very own digital video economy that complements traditional linear TV. As we rapidly become one big happy video investment group, we have wisely broken down silos and put ad dollars behind consumers, their viewing patterns, and preferences.
In their recent Video Monetization Report Q3 2014, FreeWheel rightly noted that people have tended to doubt the growth of TV Everywhere. And, that’s been shortsighted. It’s on. And, as they report, programmers are putting more and more content behind the authentication wall. And, guess what? As 46 percent of long-form and live video ad views now come from authenticated users, consumers are following “in droves.” This figure is actually up 368 percent year-over-year. Live viewing, OTT device usage, and authenticated viewing are all booming simultaneously.
We should take heart, as FreeWheel reports, that 46 percent of long-form and live monetization came from behind an authentication wall in Q3 of 2014. That is well above the 14 percent they reported for 2013. And, with a nod to the new cross-screen reality, FreeWheel has started looking at authentication across devices, analysis that will assist our progress as publishers and advertisers, following the consumer. While it remains to be seen how this pattern or trend will play out, their most recent analysis shows that OTT represents the greatest proportion of authenticated video ad views. It is followed by desktop, laptop, and smartphone/tablet viewing.
The confluence of consumer adoption and technical innovation forms the bedrock for device neutral video investment. For those who’ve primarily considered their scope to be traditional TV, there is huge upside to embracing today’s new video viewer. These trends are even more pronounced when we isolate the younger end of the 18 to 49 demo. Cross-device consumption and marketing are on the rise all at once. 2015 just may be the year that we see true screen agnosticism and parity in video advertising investments. Let’s hope so, because it should be fun.
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