Apple’s announcement of its new video iPod sent analysts scrambling to contemplate a new revenue stream for broadcasters, movie studios, and, of course, Apple. While they try to figure out how much money can be made, it’s yet another wakeup call to the advertising industry. It must figure out how best to take advantage of the growing amount of video inventory being made available online.
Video-sharing communities are popping up all over the place, with big players (Google Video) and upstarts (Vimeo, Sharkle) alike clamoring for market share. Although most video on many of these services are user-submitted, corporate content producers are a-comin’. They’ll eventually upload their content into these indexing services to make them more easily findable by consumers searching for video. What we’re looking at are vast repositories of online video delivered when you want it.
One of this migration’s most important aspects isn’t the amount of content but how it’s organized; organically and collaboratively. Consumers are empowered to use tags that categorize each piece of video content, making lookup easy for audiences interested in that particular theme, genre, artist, actor, or activity. Audiences are becoming so finely tuned to what they want, they’re making it easier for others to find what they want. Sites such as Flickr and del.icio.us have already achieved success with this Web 2.0 concept, and Flock, the upcoming collaborative Web browser, seeks to tie it all together.
What does all this mean for rich media and video advertisers?
Tagging will force us to develop online video advertising that’s relevant and appealing to a broad audience. Brief (for those who wish to tune out), yet engaging (for those who want to continue the experience).
Video advertisers may soon get that one-to-one targeting we’ve been dreaming about. The concept of dynamically showing ads for the latest sports beverage in front of video clips tagged “action sports” is close to reality. The technological onus is on publishers, ad servers, and rich media vendors to make targeting as much about user-defined context as it is about user behavior. Publishers (and consumers) are creating the ad model. Now we must deliver. Agencies need to push for change.
There are many reasons advertisers have been quick to embrace online video advertising. Penetration is one. According to comScore Media Metrix’s Online Video Ratings, 56 percent of the Internet population watched a streaming video in the last month (how the other 44 percent avoided a streaming video, I have no idea). Furthermore, it’s incredibly easy to get that :15 or :30 spot online. Often, it’s as easy as sending a digital tape to the publisher/agency (which may be a little too easy).
As people begin watching online video to avoid commercial interruptions or downloading TV shows from their TiVos to their iPods, it will be our responsibility as advertisers to not give them what they want but to give them what they’re willing to tolerate. That means in addition to more relevantly delivered video, shorter spots tailored for online and portable media players (PMP) consumption.
More content is finding its way online more and more quickly. To maximize this revenue, publishers must adopt technologies that will dynamically serve the right ads to the right people. To maximize the ads’ effectiveness, advertisers must make them easy to digest — with an option for seconds.
Imagine… advertising delivered to consumers based on the context of what they’re looking for.
I bet that would make a good online advertising model.
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