This is a guest post authored by Matthew Watson, CEO of SendtoNews.
Online video (OLV) advertising is leading the way over other types of media advertising with expected growth of 12.8% in 2021, according to “Global Ad Trends: State of the Industry 2020/21” by WARC Data. Social media advertising came in second, with an expected growth of 12.2%, followed by online display ads at 10.4%.
Conversely, television advertising around the world is on the decline, with an expected year-over-year decrease of $5.1 billion, according to the recently released “TV Advertising Global Market Report 2020-30: COVID-19 Growth and Change” study by ReportLinker. This market decline is primarily driven by traditional pay TV, while programmatic advertising and over-the-top platforms continue to grow as more viewers cut the cord in favor of streaming.
OLV advertising is now a go-to source for digital marketers because this is where more and more people are consuming content. With working from home being the new norm and pandemic lockdowns around the world, more people are watching online videos and marketers want a piece of that pie. At SendtoNews Video, we experienced this trend firsthand, seeing a 32% increase in views from 2019, with total views coming in at 13.3 billion for 2020.
Additionally, viewers are generally accepting of pre-roll ads in online video. In fact, only 17% of users feel that pre-roll ads are interruptive. In an online video setting, viewers understand the trade-off of watching one video ad per short-form content piece.
Contextual relevance improves the online video ad experience
Another important and positive trend in online video is contextual relevance — the placing of ad content that is relevant to the video and editorial content. When contextual relevance is implemented successfully, users have a more favorable view of the page overall, leading to more content viewership and, subsequently, increased advertising revenue. Time and time again, content matching has proven to be the holy grail of engaging with users, with reports of higher levels of satisfaction and improved overall experience, including increased engagement, dwell time, and perception. It has also shown to increase brand favorability, purchase intent, and recommendation metrics, which is why advertisers seek out publishers who are making strides in the contextual relevance arena.
Contextual relevance is even more important now as the cookie is on its way out. Without the ability to tailor ads to specific audiences with the help of third-party cookies, solutions that can promise contextual relevance will keep viewers engaged and ensure brands reach the consumers they are seeking.
Yet another reason why marketers are choosing online video is because of brand safety issues on social platforms. There have been countless issues with misinformation and hate speech appearing on social media and brands don’t want to associate with that. For example, Verizon stopped running ads on Facebook after learning their ads were appearing next to conspiracy theory content. Online video still reigns supreme for ensuring a completely brand-safe environment for brands — if they partner with the right provider.
Advertisers favor programmatic buys
Perhaps another reason why online video advertising is leading the way is due to the ability to access programmatic advertising. According to eMarketer, programmatic is going to account for 86.5% of all digital ad spend in the United States this year, and video will be driving that growth.
As advertisers shift their targeting strategies to adhere to evolving privacy norms and regulations, audience-based buys are becoming more important. Programmatic is key to data-driven campaigns, making programmatic extremely appealing.
“The efficiencies of programmatic buying and the opportunities to apply data to reach specific audience segments are huge benefits that are accelerating the shift of traditional TV budgets to digital channels,” according to the “2021 Global Video Advertising Trends” report by SpotX.
As advertisers and marketers invest more heavily in online video, they should look for a partner that attempts to satisfy all the above. At SendtoNews, our video lives within audience expectations for advertising, which has helped us achieve an over 70% viewability and video completion rate platform-wide. Nobody is changing the channel or getting up to get a snack because they know that rich, engaging, and premium official content is just one pre-roll ad away.
The content is also relevant to the user experience as it “makes sense” within the editorial environment. If someone visits the Chicago Tribune to read about the latest Bears game, the video content that appears within the body of the article is game highlights direct from the NFL. Most importantly, the quality and breadth of our content provides exceptional brand safety and suitability as advertisers can choose to have their brands appear next to specific content verticals from more than 200 trusted providers, including the MLB, NBA, NHL, Conde Nast, Rolling Stone, Variety, Bloomberg, and the Associated Press.
The massive shift to online viewership can’t be ignored. It is a growing habit that was accentuated last year and is set to continue. Looking for OLV opportunities that satisfy needs in reception, relevance, and brand safety should be at the top of every marketer’s list.
About the guest author
Matthew Watson is the CEO of SendtoNews, North America’s largest independent OLV platform providing brands and agencies the opportunity to advertise on over 1.5 billion monthly impressions against brand-safe, contextually relevant video from over 200 leading content providers like MLB, NBA, NFL, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, and Condé Nast on premium local and national sites like NY Post, NY Daily News, SFGate, USAToday, and over 1,800 others. Along with being a leading voice in the digital video industry, Matthew is a rabid sports fan, mountain biker, husband, and father of two.