It’s that time of year again, and we’ve decided to weigh in with our shortlist of key online video and advertising trends to be on the lookout for in 2013. We hope you find these thoughts useful.
1. Social Grows Up
Having experimented with social media for a few years now, experienced advertisers are raising their expectations of the medium and demanding more refined, tangible results. According to a report we issued earlier this year entitled “The State of Opt-In Video”, advertisers are moving from sending post-video traffic to Facebook. Over the last year, brand engagement with Facebook declined 9%, while visits to the advertiser’s website rose by more than 20%. Expect this trend to increase, as brands grow more sophisticated in their use of online video ads and consumers forgo social networking sites in favor of visiting a brand’s website to learn more about the company, find a store, take part in a contest, etc.
2. Long-Form Ad Content Increases
Despite conventional wisdom in the advertising industry that shorter is better, the numbers tell a different story. Recent evidence shows that better ad targeting and more diverse ad formats make it possible for advertisers to successfully run longer-form ads. Using an opt-in video ad-model, advertisers are no longer confined to standard :15 and :30 second pre-roll spots. Seventy percent of all opt-in views in our survey came from ads over 60 seconds in length, and 87% of users watched two-minute videos to completion. As advertisers grow more comfortable with incentivized, opt-in formats, we think you’ll see a significant increase in long-form videos in 2013.
3. Ads Masquerading as Content Will Be a Hot-Button Issue
So called “native” video ads, which are made to look like editorial or entertainment content, have been a hot topic of conversation this year. The idea is appealing to advertisers, but a recent survey showed that 86% of viewers found these ads misleading. Moreover, 85% found the units either negatively impacted or had no influence on their perception of the brand. As the industry gets more experienced with online video, we predict that their perceptions about what makes an effective campaign will change. Display-oriented placements will give way to units that deliver better engagement and post-view performance. Not everyone sees it this way, of course, so look for the controversy to continue into next year.
4. Incentivized Video Will Become More Relevant in the Mobile Environment
In 2012, pre-roll maintained its position as the ad unit of choice for online video ads. In the coming year, however, this trend may begin to reverse itself in the emerging mobile marketplace. With over 2 million mobile devices being sold per day, the app-based mobile Internet will make pre-roll increasingly ineffective. In this environment, users will be less tolerant of interruptions that use precious bandwidth and take time to load due to uneven network connections. The incentivized/opt-in model puts users in control, while providing publishers with less annoying and more lucrative way to monetize their traffic. For these reasons, we foresee incentivized video playing a much more prominent role in mobilevideo next year.