The State of Online Video Advertising

Online video ads are not just for YouTube anymore. We’ve all seen video content and video ads spread to all of our favorite websites. There’s an enormous amount of hype surrounding online video advertising, and already it is a huge market. Last year eMarketer forecasted that digital video ad spending will grow to $9.1 billion in 2017. We were really interested in first understanding where all of this money comes from.

It’s not just taking money from one form of digital advertising and moving it over to video. About one third of marketers are already shifting budget from online display and television advertising into online video ads, according to a 2013 study from and Digiday.

In our conversations with colleagues in publishing and advertising over the last several months we learned that there are still many questions about how to best take advantage of online video advertising. What is the ideal duration for a video ad? What are some sophisticated ways to package video with traditional digital advertising to increase our visibility?

We wanted to learn more about the challenges publishers and advertisers face when looking to uncover opportunities in this medium. We analyzed thousands of online video ads across more than 100 websites between November 2013 and January 2014, and the data revealed some interesting trends.

A few quick takeaways:

  1. While the vast majority (79%) of online video ads are either 15 or 30 seconds long, 30 second ads are about 10 times more likely to have a skip option than 15 second ads. Perhaps counterintuitively, shorter ads can deliver more brand messaging than longer ads.
  2. When it comes to the high-impact packaging of online video with various forms of display and rich media ads, some categories are ahead of the curve. While 52% of video ads on food websites are accompanied by display ads, just 11% of ads on tech sites also feature an accompanying display ad.

This is still a young market, so we will continue to monitor the industry and update our readers with insights into online video advertising.

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