Online Video Viewing Habits & Projections for Ad Spending

 I watched an interesting webinar the other day from eMarketer.com. All about video viewing habits and what steps marketers should be taking to cash in.

The webinar noted that 72% of Internet users are watching online video in some form – usually short videos on YouTube, movie trailers, CNN news reports, etc. While that percentage is large, in real numbers, television still dwarfs online. 249 million people watch TV each week, compared to 53 million who watch online videos.  According to Nielsen, the average American watches 4.7 hours of television per day – compared to 3.5 hours of online video viewing per month.

The good news for advertisers is that online video viewers are much more engaged than those who watch ads on TV. According to Interpret LLC, viewers are 28% more likely to pay attention to online video ads than to TV ads. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. You actively seek out a video online and lean forward to watch, where as with TV ads, you’re more likely to watch while sitting back in your comfy chair or couch.

 eMarketer.com says online video ad spending should be about $1.04 billion this year – 4.3% of total ad spending in the U.S.  While the number is a small percentage right now, eMarketer expects a 40% growth rate for the next few years – with online video ad spending hitting $4.1 billion by 2013. Why? It’s expected that advertisers will be providing more professional content, viewing hours will increase, technology will improve (HiDef), targeting will improve, and there will be better formats/more creative ads.

 So what can you as a marketer do to take advantage of the online medium? eMarketer recommends several steps:

  • Expand reach through a mix of video advertising buys, including appropriate ad networks
  • Focus heavily on targeting, overlaying online video buys with behavioral targeting
  • Be very clear on your goals before you launch a video campaign
  • Hold the creative of your video ads to a higher standard than you would on a TV campaign

Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal said it best,  “Our challenge is to effectively monetize (online video) so that we do  not end up treading analog dollars for digital pennies.”

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