comScore’s recently published statistics for online video viewing and video ad exposure in the Europe reveals the biggest growth lies in video ad consumption in the UK  – 80% of online Brits saw an online video in January 2012: and of these 64 percent were exposed to video ads, twice as many as the previous January.

Online Video Advertising Statistics Rise in Europe (UK & France)

  • 21.9 million UK internet users were exposed to a video ad stream and 33.3 million UK internet users watched a content video in January.
  • Males were far more engaged with content videos, accounting for 74.7 percent compared to just females who only accounted for 25.3 percent.
  • 56.4 percent of males exposed to ad videos compared to 43.6 percent for females.
  • 4.6 million 15-24 year olds were exposed to video ads – accounting for more than a quarter of time spent overall”. (comScore Inc)

And in France comScore discovered a similar picture with a lower proportion of the population exposed to online video in general. See the full press release in French:

Video Ad Networks: USA Moving Rapidly into European Market

US marketers have not been slow to take advantage of this burgeoning market for online video advertising: Denver based SpotXchange is the largest global marketplace of video ad inventory, reaching 80 million unique visitors each month in more than 15 countries. It entered the UK market late 2011 and are already number one in the UK according to comScore’s VideoMetrix service

I interviewed Nick Callaghan of Spotxchange in London this week and he identified that the largest growth is in Pre-roll ads, and confirms that it is consumers who are driving the rapid growth in the market;

“We are seeing a year on year doubling of consumer consumption across all devices and this is what’s driving increased publisher and advertiser activity. For advertisers, quality video ads are a significant investment and so far they seem to be successfully re-purposing their TV ads in to shorter pre-rolls (in-streams) with little resistance from viewers, who value the video content the ad is sponsoring. A lot of that content is sport”.

Nick goes on to talk about the growth SpotXchange has experienced in the UK market;

“We started our UK sales operation here in London last November and are really happy with the results to date, with signs of not only mainstream publishers taking advantage of the trend but also a gradually take up from mid and small longtail publishers who can now see a  new monetization opportunity for their content. This is a great time be a niche video publisher both sides of the pond. UK viewers are watching .com content as well as – so there’s plenty of video inventory for UK advertisers to place on US sites -too with ads targeted at UK viewers”

New York based video ad management platform VINDICO has made a similar move setting up offices in the UK, Spain and France last year – a significant commitment by the business, driven partly by forecasts of 100% growth in 2012 .

When I spoke to James Grant, UK Sales Director of VINDICO, he concurred that consumers are the motivating factor;

“Business has been booming for us over here and yes, I’d agree that consumers are the ones driving the rapid growth. However buyers and sellers of video ads are still sorting out the best business models that work with consumers and that deliver the best ROI”.

While many brands are working out their ROI others big brands like Netflix, Brittany Ferries and Barclays Bank have long had advertising pre-rolls before YouTube videos and Yahoo!’s news videos. And in France major brands such Disneyland Paris and EA Sports have seized the video pre-roll moment, as have Apple with a pre-roll for Itunes currently featuring Madonna’s latest album.

Let The Online Video Advertising Good Times Roll into 2013

In October of last year BrightRoll authored a report which predicts that the growth will continue:

“We can see that is an especially exciting and rapidly maturing market. The results of our first-ever UK survey emphatically support this belief,” said BrightRoll CEO Tod Sacerdoti.

See the complete press release here:

ZenithOptimedia predicts internet advertising will increase its share of the ad market from 15.9% in 2011 to 21.2% in 2014.  In 2013, it is predicted to overtake newspapers to become the world’s second-largest medium, with video ads a central component of the rapid growth.

All the signs point to unbridled growth with clear benefits to publishers on both sides of the Atlantic and for advertisers looking to target the younger demographic.

“As younger age demographics become more difficult to reach via traditional media channels, online video represents an important channel for reaching and engaging this particular audience.” (comScore Inc)