Signals suggest online video advertising looks set to boom

It seems that online video is making something of a comeback with brands noting the renewed interest in video on demand (VOD) and wanting to be part of the mix.

Joe Fernandez
Joe Fernandez

Earlier this month, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) and marketing body Thinkbox unveiled figures that estimated 78% of people are now watching on-demand TV, helping to make the medium more appealing to advertisers.

Last week’s decision by the Office of Fair Trading to allow Project Canvas, the proposed joint venture between the BBC, commercial broadcasters and video-on-demand companies, to continue without a competition investigation will fuel this interest, with the possibility of non-satellite or cable viewers being able to watch VOD through specially-adapted set-top boxes for no extra cost.

So, will this increased attention on the capabilities of VOD attract more interest in the growing medium?

Forrester certainly seems to think so. It says video will be the fastest growing interactive advertising format in Europe over the next five years, with advertisers spending more than €1bn (£860m) on the medium. Why? Well, because advertisers love the rich formatting and clever editing facilitated by, although display still has some way to go to catch up with search.

The ever-changing media landscape is also helping make online video more appetising to the everyday advertiser. YouTube recently announced it is now generating over 2 billion views per day, with the average user spending 15 minutes per day on the site.

The Google-owned company boasts: “That’s nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major U.S. television networks combined.”

Yet, there are still barriers that need to be addressed in this arena, before it can truly become mainstream.

Next issue (3 June), Marketing Week will feature coverage from a recently held round table on online video and marketing,, sponsored by Google. The event featured leading marketers and agency chiefs discussing issues including the best way to use content, what makes a piece of content go viral and how effective such advertising can be.

What is clear is that online video advertising has picked up momentum, following the lull that occurred when Bebo stopped producing programming such as Kate Modern that allowed product placement.

This week, Apple finally launches the iPad in the UK and its new bigger screen and HD capabilities could become an enticing prospect for marketers wanting to watch internet-enabled TV on the go.

The challenge is now on for marketers to keep an eye on movements in this area and make the most of its capabilities. Innovation will be key and is sure to keep you on their toes.

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