One-Third of Advertisers Buy Video Ad Space Directly Vs. Video Ad Networks

One-Third of Advertisers Buy Video Ad Space Directly Vs. Video Ad Networks

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Break Media teamed up with Advertiser Perceptions Inc. for the first annual Digital Video Advertising Study. There are loads of interesting things in it that I will talk about over the next week or so and this is the first of those. I was reading the executive summary and was shocked to learn that one-third of advertisers that are using online video, do not use an ad network.With 70% of advertisers saying they are going to be expanding their online video ad budgets next year it seems imperative that the video ad networks make themselves known. We even recently put together a big list of Online Video Advertising Networks which should be a big help. Even before that I wrote an article about Where Should You Place Your Video Ads?

Of course, that information is now almost a year old and there have been mergers and acquisitions and changes in reach and numbers in general. But it gave you a good idea at the time. It seems that perhaps it will be time to do another of those.

Follow the Money

Television spending is on the move and it’s heading here, to the online digital video realm according to the Break Media study. A whopping 63% of advertisers say that the increase in their online video budgets will come from television budgets and 70% said the money will come from other online campaigns. So there seems to be a large influx of capital headed toward online video advertising.

Even with those large percentages planning on shift money toward them, it won’t be huge piles of cash cascading into the ads. The expected budget increases are a mere 1-24% for 71% of advertisers. That means about 79% of advertisers will still only put less than 25% of their total online budgets into digital video advertisements.

The remaining 21% who put more than 25% of their budgets into video ads are going to need to know who you, the online video advertising networks, are. They are going to be the major driving force of change next year and if they don’t know you, it could end up that you get left behind when that happens.

With whom should YOU be talking?

According to the study,  these people are senior executives at their agencies or companies and likely also to be responsible for cable TV, broadcast TV, online search and/or outdoor advertising budgets.

So you might already be talking to them, or have been contacted by them if you fall into any of these other areas. It might also mean that if you’re a company with connections to those other aspects, you might want to let those clients know that you also have online video ad placements available, to keep them from looking elsewhere.

They mainly span several industries including:

  • casual dining/QSR,
  • video gaming (I know a great gaming news publisher online with video ad placements available)
  • non-alcoholic beverage
  • packaged foods
  • cosmetics/toiletries

These are the main places that are planning on pulling TV budget dollars and pouring them into online video advertising. Now you’ve got some information to start targeting them. So don’t call it a year just yet, pull together some information about potential clients that fit this demographic and get to work! Right now the study indicates video ad budgets allocated to video ad networks is relatively low, with 74% of advertisers expected to spend less than 25% of their DVA budgets with VANs in the next 12 months.

Which Video Ad Networks are Getting it Done?

The research showed that many of the ad placements were not at ad networks at all, half were publishers including YouTube, Hulu, Yahoo, Google, MSN, ABC, CBS. Of course, YouTube does account for the majority of online video views according to comScore, so that makes sense as a place to think about when placing video ads.

It seems that, when asked about where to place ads, video ad networks didn’t come to mind first. Publishers and portals were top spot and of the 14 largest video ad networks, less than 50% of advertisers knew the majority of them. These are places that we talk about almost daily here at ReelSEO but apparently that information hasn’t filtered down to the advertisers yet (perhaps they too should read ReelSEO more!)

Most advertisers used two or less video ad networks. The most popular network only reached 22% of the advertisers and the fact that 35% didn’t use one at all should be alarming for the video ad networks in the audience.

But why?!

Because, it seems, the publishers have exactly the content that they advertisers want to run their ads against as opposed to video ad networks where your ads might show up on any number of unrelated or unwanted sites. Remember that we did talk about video ad network fraud this year a couple times:

With all that bad press, is it any wonder that you’re not hitting on all cylinders when it comes to the minds of advertisers? My thinking is that the advertisers would rather buy right from the publisher because they then know exactly where, when and how the ads will show up. Can you give them that through your video advertising network?

How the content broke down:

TV shows are massive all around. So while TV ad money might move online, it’s not moving away from the content itself (46% of those not using VANs).

Those who used video ad networks and bought directly still like TV with 27%  choosing it. However, user-generated content was popular as well with 23% (Is that the YouTube Effect?)

Targeting the future

So, you’re an video advertising network representative and you’re reading this thinking what can it do for you? Well, the research shows that advertisers are willing to consider three or four networks but will still only buy from one or two. You’ll really need to be on your game, and prove a lack of fraud on the part of your publishers, in order to make the cut. However, targeting advertisers who didn’t you a network in the past might prove fruitless as 35% say “no thanks” even for the year to come.

The research didn’t give any reasons why the advertisers didn’t like or want to use the video advertising networks, those are all my own take on the matter. I often think, if I were placing pricey ads with a network, I would want to know exactly where all of my views were including page position, etc. With a single publisher, I know. I can go to their site and find their videos and video ads. To me, that would be a major reason to buy direct as opposed to buying from an ad network which feels more like the shotgun approach than the sniper rifle of buying directly from publishers.


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