What do you need to know about online video for 2016? Here’s a convenient “round up” for your viewing pleasure.
Mobilization. Mobile advertising is growing 66% and desktop is just 5 percent. What’s interesting to me is that 36% of our time is spent on TV, and 39% of the ad spending is there. But we’re spending 25% of our self on mobile, while only 12% of ad spending is on mobile. Implication: watch for way more advertising in your apps, on mobile-enabled site, and perhaps even while you text. (KPCB Internet Trends, June 1, 2016)
Mobile vs desktop tie. By 2020, online-video advertising will be about 50% mobile and 50% desktop.
Pay TV is stuggling. About 86% US Internet users think pay TV is too expensive. Some forecast a decline (source: TVFreedom, : SNL Kagan as cited in Video Advertising Bureau, 2015).
TV ain’t dead. According to eMarketer “TV will continue to grow and remain the top video advertising format through 2020.” That said, our time with digital video (versus TV) changed in 2012 and the gap has widened, with digital outpacing TV (Nielsen, eMarketer).
Netflix is rocking it for time. The streaming time of Netflix is growing insanely. 600M hours in 2009 and 42 billion hours in 2015. And originals are the reason (Netflix and Cowen & Company, 2016)
Digital Video Ad Spending is Growing But Slowing. We’re seeing about 30 percent growth in digital video ad spending this year, but in the next few years the growth will slow somewhat…. Down to 20 percent next year and about 10% by 2020. Still growing, just not as radically.
Video ads need help. Many Online video ads are ineffective. About 80% of us mute video ads, and the majority (62%) are annoyed with pre-rolls. And 93% consider using ad-blocking software (Unruly Future Video Survey, July 2015). Given mobile use behavior, online videos are going to have to adapt.
Block You. You know that thing about mobile users being annoyed by ads? The growth of mobile ad blocking is happening radically faster than desktop (as cited by the KPCB report, PageFair & Priori Data 2016 Adblocking Report.).
What works in mobile video ads? Keep it less than 10 seconds, shoot it for mobile, and try for full-screen delivery. (Snapchat and other sources).
What makes for good video ads? Unruly’s recommendations: be authentic, entertain, evoke emotion, go personal/relatable, be useful, give viewers control… and work with sound off and in non-interruptive ad format.
Native Advertising is evil, and John Oliver grills it in this comedy routine
I started my career as a journalist. Warren Rogers, my editor and a well-known Washington D.C reporter, created a literal wall between the Georgetown Courier’s editorial department and the advertising team… it was wooden and about 4 feet tall. He taught me the importance of not having editorial pander to the needs of advertising. No lofty reviews of restaurants that took full-page ads out in our newspaper.
Sure the newspaper folded in about 6 months. And sure I now work in advertising. I still have a pet peeve about “native advertising,” which is basically advertisements that masquerade as content. You’ve seen them:
An apparent news story on a website that’s actually an ad for some diet product
A section of a magazine that, on closer inspection, is actually “advertorial” content (sponsored)
A tweet or Facebook post that’s paid content even though it’s designed to look like a post from a friend
We need to know when a commercial interest is impacting our news or entertainment. And it’s not often obvious. I don’t like search-engine results that are ads pretending to be organic. I don’t like product placement without credit/transparency. And I don’t like hitting a news website expecting to read an article, but it’s a poorly veiled attempt to pitch some crap.
Ads can do their job even when we know they’re ads. But news and entertainment cannot do their jobs when we have to worry about whether they’re ads or not.
AdWeek reports that Paul Kontonis, former online video producer and agency guy, is heading the new Global Online Video Association (GOVA). Kontonis has been a leader in the online video space from its inception, including such roles as founder of “For Your Imagination,” VP at Digitas’ Third Act, and chairman of International Academy of Web Television.
By day, Kontonis heads sales and strategy for one of the top “multichannel networks” (MCNs) called Collective Digital Studio. GOVA is made up of nine of the top MCNs (also called online-video studios and “new networks”). These include Collective, Maker Studios, Fullscreen, Big Frame, BroadbandTV, DECA, Discovery’s Revision3, Magnet Media and MiTu Networks. Machinima is conspicuously absent, but unlikely for long (it’s quite common for the biggest in an industry to initially think they don’t need an association).
Caveat: I know Kontonis and like him (which is why I am allowed to call him a gavone as a term of respect). He was even in one of my videos where I thought I turned invisible. But I haven’t spoken to him in a while and know nothing directly about his GOVA appointment. So this is all my speculation based on watching this space mature. And I wrote a book, so shut up.
What’s ahead, and what does GOVA mean to the networks and the maturing landscape of online video?
Bargaining Power with YouTube. The online-video networks, or “multichannel networks,” will now have a collective voice they’ll need more in coming years. That’s in part because YouTube, the virtual monopoly on distribution, is increasingly turning its attention to more mainstream studios and traditional networks. As YouTube grows, it will be increasingly difficult for individual studios to command the attention they’ve received in the past. How do we know that? History is the best predictor: Initially top YouTube stars could garner attention from Google and resolve issues. But eventually YouTube creators needed the power of a network. The networks don’t know it yet, but in years ahead they’ll need strength in greater numbers than they have today.
Bumpy Road, Herding Cats. Associations can be tricky, as participants theoretically want a collective voice, but they’re also competing against each other for precious advertising dollars. Kontonis has shown he’s got the diplomacy and persuasion to herd these network cats.
Could Slow Down Acquisitions. In the coming years, we’d expect to see more of these online-video networks get acquired by larger players. Discovery ate Revision3. Google ate Next New Networks. GOVA may give some of these players more time to play independently, if they wish, before the eventual consolidation of traditional and “multichannel” networks in the 2015-2020 period. That doesn’t mean the MCNs will be less attractive to acquiring parties, it just means they won’t be as desperate to be sold. That’s a very good thing for individual creators of these networks. (When they do get acquired, they’ll try to convince you it’s a good thing… but as a loyal WVFF reader you’ll know better).
Developing Emerging Channels to Reduce Dependency on YouTube. As we look beyond YouTube, the major stakeholders are technology companies, advertisers, and content creators. Years ago, an individual studio could negotiate their video content onto new platforms — like we saw Revision3 do with Roku and College Humor do with TiVo. But that will be more difficult as stakes increase and traditional networks start seeing more meaningful “TV dollars” moving to emerging channels. This coordinated approach through GOVA will increase the studio’s voice with new platforms. Watch for GOVA serving a role to keep them “out in front” of new platforms — from Roku to Netflix and Hulu to Amazon. And more importantly, the emerging video distribution platforms we don’t yet see coming. Maybe one day even AppleTV!
Other Boring But Important Crap. GOVA can also help with legislation/regulation, advertising formats, metric standardization, growth of the online-video, and thought leadership. Depending on the issue, they will likely partner and challenge other players like IAB, ComScore, traditional media associations, and marketing agencies.
Four More Years. That’s how long I see this lasting. By 2018, we’d expect GOVA to roll into the Internet Advertising Bureau, IRTS or some other association. But no other association has the knowledge of or focus on this medium.
Bottom Line. Creators and studios need GOVA whether they know it or not. Otherwise the technology platforms and advertisers will set the agenda.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses sometimes struggle with YouTube and online-video marketing. So I teamed with ReelSEO to write a guide called “Online Video 101: Small Business.” It’s free, and you won’t get a pesky sales call if you register and download it.
Sorry the blog’s gone a bit grey lately, but I’ve been busy posting a video each day (every time you poop). Caught the virus from Trippy at his wedding. See ’em in this playlist called “Holiday Blitz.”
comScore’s September data sheds some light on the non Google video-sharing sites, the top ad networks, and the top-1o channels on YouTube, all of which are professional. The biggest takeaway? The Santa María, La Niña, and La Pinta have long since landed and the corn-sharing Indians are being run off the east coast.
Professional content (or web studios representing amateurs) are leading the charts
The market remains highly centralized among one or two key players
Ads are now pervasive
YouTube is increasing its personal white-glove service among the top 100 YouTube partners (including lavish events), and moving many subordinate Partners to e-mail only deidentified support (this isn’t reflected in comScore).
Now let’s look at comScore highlights…
Google/YouTube retains its leadership with 161 million unique viewers (followed by Vevo with about 57K). More importantly, it clocked in a 378 minutes per viewer, which beats Hulu’s 180 minutes. Hulu’s 27K unique viewers watched 642,000 minutes of video (YouTube’s got 18 million). Also worth noting is Microsoft and Viacom’s overtaking of Facebook and Yahoo (two sites that could have been online-video leaders)
Ad networks run those prerolls and keep the online-video body flowing with life saving blood. Here are the leaders: Hulu is #1, Tremor Video ranked second overall with 811 million ad views, followed by Adap.tv (803 million) and BrightRoll Video Network (665 million).
Professional studios rule the most-viewed channels, but note that some amateurs are represented by these players. Gaming channel Machinima ranked third with 17 million viewers, followed by Maker Studios (which has signed a number of YouTube weblebrities) with 9 million, Demand Media with 6.8 million and Revision3 with 5.4 million.
Finally an interactive, immersive online video ad that doesn’t skimp on the comedy or selling. Patrick Warburton takes us on ‘GOOD REASONS,” an interactive entertainment experience that highlights Honda and takes the viewer on a guided web surf. While the interactivity is limited during the 9 modules, Warburton’s script is clever… he’s seen tapping a Tweet or Facebook like page, and he’s best when left alone between module selections. I discovered the ad on YouTube, and probably spent 15 minutes with it.
Warburton generally walks that fine line between being confidently funny and glib, and it’s hard not to think of his voiceovers during the experience…. especially Kronk.
The work was created, at least in part, by Justin Young, who left Firstborn Multimedia in NYC and leads “This Is His” an LA-based interactive design and post production shop. Check out the behind-the-scene stills… and read more about the shoot here.
Or my version of the photo (and I could have done this without the green screen, Honda.
Check out how Norton us using video as part of a very targeted but comprehensive campaign (an ad in Newsweek last night had strong stopping power for me… a shower not working because cybercriminals had stolen my mortgage money).
It’s a paid, not owned, approach to online video, but it’s smart. Norton is shifting from the age-old “boogie, boogie” fear messages about spyware and slow computers (ironic since malware is almost less crippling than security software). It shifts our attention from the visible hacks to more fascinating undetected micro cybercrime.
The tone walks that fine line to create “fear, uncertainty and doubt” without turning on a consumer’s natural defense mechanism. Many other security software ads create a message that elicits the consumer response, “you’re trying to scare me, and whether you’re right or wrong I’m tuning you out because I don’t like feeling scared.” By contrast, Norton’s campaign is oddly inviting. A series of comedic thiefs barge into a bank to steal a few bucks so they’re “undetected.”
Why didn’t they rob the bank and keep all the cash, and isn’t it funny that they felt obliged to warn the inert old lady not to try anything heroic?
The add isn’t “in my face,” but draws me in... making me want to consider the real threat of modest cyber crime (criminals steal just enough to remain undetected) and Norton’s solution to protecting me.
This, by the way, comes from a Mac user who pretty much remembers his last PC as a Jaguar transformed to a Pinto by the default Malware that seemed to perpetually hijack the machine with annoying messages. So Norton’s campaign, by targeted messages to Newsweek, Wired, display ads (following me on my favorite sites like Cheapskate) pretty much did more to changing my opinion than other brands spending FAR more money. And as the brand survey revealed, I’m an influencer on the software choices my friends and family buy… so there’s a multiplier effect.
Not to mention the little bastards just got a free add from this blog post. Send me some cool toys and t-shirts, Norton agency. I just helped you secure your next “exceeds expectation” with your client.
According to a recent comScore report (May 2011, released June 17, 2011), Hulu was the last-place site in the top ten for unique viewers, it had the highest number of ad impressions of any site included in the survey. Tremor Media Video Network ranked second overall (and highest among video ad networks) with 700.8 million ad views, followed by Adap.tv (642 million) and BrightRoll Video Network (565 million).
So Google (YouTube) maintains its leadership with 176 million viewers engaged in 5.6 billion viewer sessions (about 16 hours per viewer in the month). Vevo is now the #2 video-sharing site, even before Yahoo and Facebook (as well as media companies like Viacom, Turner and NBC). But advertisers are choosing the ad networks like Tremor, Adap.tv and BrighRoll, presumably because they’re providing better targeting on niche sites.
So the NextUp YouTube winners are in NYC right now… receiving loads of love from Google/YouTube. It made me happy seeing the next generation of amateurs… and to see that Google/YouTube still encourages them even while commercial content is on the rise on the world’s second-largest search engine.
I was invited to speak to the 25 of ’em, and here’s my presentation. If you were one of the wanna-bees, don’t fret. I asked if they’d be picking a new crop 3 times until I got the answer I wanted to hear… yes.
After I cranked this presentation out, I realized I’d been billed as the marketer. So this deck actually represented only half my time. During the rest I decided to play the role of an amalgamated product director, and I replaced my “Nalts” hat with a blazer. I asked them to pick a product (they said Coke), then I proceeded to explain my goals, hidden agendas, beliefs about YouTube and my understanding about product placement and sponsorship. I couldn’t help but point out that Coke gives out free products on the streets of NYC but no swag to people that have hundreds of thousand views daily. Hmmmm.
I told them I wanted to sell more Coke so I could become Chief Marketing Officer, and that I was mostly concerned with reach, frequency and single-minded proposition. I wanted to leverage emerging media, but I deferred YouTube spending to my media agency. And I wouldn’t know how to begin to tap YouTube creators… frankly I’d be scared they’d harm my brand (as a product director, of course, I wouldn’t realize I could review/approve any sponsored videos).
Lots more detail in my free eBook or Beyond Viral, which you really should just go ahead and buy. And dont find any thpelling erars.