Study: Video Key Opportunity for Online Advertisers, Publishers

Online video poses an increasingly rich opportunity for both interactive advertisers and publishers, according to the findings of a new study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA).

The study, conducted in partnership with Frank N. Magid Associates, surveyed 27,841 Internet aged 13 and over on 25 different publisher Web sites. It found 51 percent of respondents watch online video at least once a month; 27 percent watch Internet video at least once a week; and five percent watch it on a daily basis.

More striking was the strongly positive attitude survey respondents expressed toward online video ads. Of 70 percent of respondents who said they had seen a video advertisement online, 44 percent said they had taken some kind of action as a result of seeing that ad.

Specifically, 34 percent went to the corresponding brand’s Web site; approximately 15 percent requested information; 14 percent reportedly went to a brick-and-mortar store to inspect the advertised product; 9 percent said they made a purchase after seeing the ad; and 3 percent reported buying a subscription as a result of viewing an online video ad.

“The findings have two sides to them,” said Michael Zimbalist, president of the OPA. “One, consumer appetite for video is really palpable. Two, marketers have an engaged, attentive audience who notice their advertisements.”

In the short term, Zimbalist said he expects to see publishers offer more online video content and advertising on their sites. NYTimes.com is gradually rolling out larger rich media ad units across various sections of its site. The Village Voice Online recently underwent a redesign, partially to include more rich media advertising.

Through 2005 and beyond, Zimbalist says he expects to see more joint marketing sales, specifically with traditional media outlets, and increased integration between online video ads and the TV spots advertisers run on cable networks.

Other findings of the study include consumers usually discover online video ads randomly while surfing the Web. A related finding is 52 percent of respondents said they didn’t view video on the site on which they took the survey because they were unaware the site featured video.

“There is a message for publishers here; let the audience know the video is there,” Zimbalist said.

The study found online video viewers fall into demographic categories attractive to online marketers. Approximately 23 percent have household incomes of $100,000 or more.

“That’s an extremely high income level, which we expect to level out over time,” Zimbalist said. “But right now, there is an opportunity to target a rich audience with a lot of spending power.”

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