Along with talking to people about online video advertising in 2011, I also asked around about how many thought the year went for online video in general. My specific question was: What was the biggest driver of online video in 2011?

For me the answer was ubiquitousness, the beginning of true video everywhere initiatives coupled with larger screens on smartphones and of course the tablet revolution because suddenly, you had new 7- 10-inch screens that were easily portable and multi-use meaning you could carry a thin, lightweight tablet and do everything from email to reading to watching video. In terms of video everywhere it really picked up at the end of the year, but even earlier than that, all four major networks had many of their biggest shows online. Cable operators even started their own work with apps for iOS and Android. Hulu started gaining a good amount of steam as did some other services when Netflix went into meltdown mode. I think that now, the average consumer is far more informed about their online video viewing options and the services available. All of this will definitely continue in 2012 as well meaning it should be a great year for online video and it will move into the living room with connected TVs on the rise.

2011 Online Video in Review: What was the biggest driver of online video in 2011?

I only received a couple responses on this one yet they ended up being right in line with my own thoughts on the year behind us.

Aaron Beashel, Director of Marketing, Launchpad6

I think there were several key drivers of online video in 2011, all of which can be mapped out by looking at one of the worlds oldest economic principles, Supply & Demand. As penetration levels of Smartphones, Tablets and Connected TV’s increase, consumers find themselves with more video enabled devices than ever before and are actively seeking content to watch and engage with. This, combined with the fundamental shift in brand communication brought about by social media, has provided a new opportunity for advertisers to connect with their audiences through online video. As a result, advertising spend in the industry (be it online video ads or branded content pieces) has risen and has subsequently fueled the development of a whole new paradigm of premium, on-demand video content. With both Supply, Demand and the quality of Supply increasing, the only way for the overall market to go is up.

Roland Hamilton, Managing Director of U.S. Operations for

For us it was content owners opening their eyes to importance of distribution partners. Content owners more and more decided that it was important for them to go to the audience rather than embracing a “Field of Dreams” mentality. Even ABC News understood that they weren’t going to get the scale they needed by relying on so they made a deal with Yahoo. Users flock to sites like Dailymotion and others when they are looking to consume video content. We’ve got almost twice as many video viewers than the for example. Content owners and producers are doing more deals to distribute their content because they can reach huge incremental audiences. It’s not about cutting in to the existing pie but making that pie much, much bigger. Then it’s a virtuous circle. The audience engagement goes up because the distribution platform has better and more relevant content. You’re seeing consumers actually increase their overall time spent watching video.

 Jayant Kadambi, Co-Founder and CEO for YuMe

Mobile devices have hugely increased consumer consumption of online video. Now, consumers are able to watch video across multiple screens (mobile, online, connected TV) simultaneously, allowing them to engage with a wider range of content over a short period of time. The exponential growth in online video consumption that we’ve seen over the course of the past year has largely been driven by the greater ease with which viewers can access online video content across mobile devices, as well the availability of rich, interactive connected content platforms.