2011 Prediction 6-9 Trillion Display Ads Seen by 45 People

comScore today announced that in the third quarter of this year (3Q 2010) about 1.3 trillion Internet display advertisements were served to people in the U.S. (a 22% growth from the same period in 2009).

We were too lazy to register to download the report, but not so lazy as to avoid making “wild, unfounded generalizations and predications” based only on that one piece of data…

  • In 2011 6-9 trillion display ads will be seen, with a 32% growth in online-video ads.
  • More than 95% of the ads will never be seen by human eyes
  • Of the 5% of ads that are actually seen in the U.S., 54.7% of those won’t be in the U.S.
  • Just 45 people will see the ads: a staggering 95% of some previous subsegment of the 6-9 trillion ads served.
  • 76.4% of the remaining ads will be seen by high-school kids ages 12-18 who impact .04% of the gross domestic product.

Now here’s what the report will really offer, with italics in my words.

  • The story behind Facebook’s staggering growth (everything edited out of Social Networking: the movie).
  • New strategies and innovative ad sizes offered by publisher (words like “target” and “accountable” and “ROI” will be included, and some sample ad formats will show how to be advertisers can ride publishers like a drunk Texas cowboy on a wounded Mexican steer).
  • Category-level trends and insights (both industries covered: financial, travel AND consumer-packaged goods).
  • Advertising success stories of mid-sized and niche publishers (including data that’s so powerful it’s almost as real as the 3D Yogi Bear… but less interesting).
  • Tools to generate more sales leads and evaluate competition (tricks like “put together a white paper, demand registration, then call the person 5 times in the next consecutive 11 days”).

Oh I’m just teasing comScore. But about the lower-case C…

YouTube Partner Income Sporadic

While we’re precluded from revealing specifics about YouTube revenue, it’s now becoming more common for YouTube “partners” to know what others are making. While the CPM (cost per thousand views) once seemed to have settled, the creator income fluctuates wildly. As noted in this chart, the month of May took a nose dive for me– June was up slightly. July’s amount (due in days) will tell give us a sense of trends, and whether we’ll return to the peak of the first quarter when InVideo ads were flowing like wine at a wedding.

What’s interesting is that views/subscribers don’t appear to correlate with income very well. See TubeMogul stats (chart 2) for monthly views, but recognize that YouTube’s Partner revenue (paid via AdSense) lags by a month. Any statisticians in the houuuse?

It would appear to me that there are two variables a creator can’t control, and significantly alterĀ  YouTube Partner earnings:

  1. Inventory. If YouTube isn’t selling InVideo ads (ads that surface on bottom of video after 20 seconds) in my videos, there will be almost no income. The income from text ads and banners is paltry even in volume. If that yellow line is in the video player I’m a happy camper. Otherwise I fear retiring a corporate mule. I am aware that this isn’t healthy, thank you. Keep in mind that my revenue is not necessarily suggestive of YouTube revenue or inventory — it could simply be that my specific videos weren’t targeted by advertisers in a certain period. I do see a day where the creator can help sell his/her own advertising revenue, but that’s a logistical challenge.
  2. Location of view. YouTube currently doesn’t flight InVideo ads except for videos viewed on YouTube.com. That means a sweet lil’ old blogger embedding my video and getting me hundreds and thousands of views is of no consequence yet to her or me. Yet. Yet!

A few lessons for those hoping to make a living via online video:

  1. Be realistic. It takes a long while for views to translate to income. Think of it as a bonus not salary.
  2. Don’t count on it as a primary income unless you’re one of the top most-viewed creators and your audience is attractive to advertisers. In that regard, it feels more like TV/movies. Hopefully the predictions of radical increase in online-video advertising will equalize this effect… making it more democratic.
  3. If you expect to live on YouTube, become a hot rock star or lower your cost of living.
  4. Expect fluctuation. While in theory you control your views, thse too are dependent on a variety of factors. And unless you start selling for YouTube, the total advertising revenue and inventory is out of your control. People kinda have to be travelling on Maine highways for your Maine hotels to have high occupancy. You can make sure your hotel is more attractive than the very busy Motel 6 across the street.
  5. Find other ways to earn money via online video. Don’t bother selling crap to people (to date, the Nalts DVDs and merchandise has accumulated less than my worse month on YouTube). Rather find ways to appropriately sponsor brands or companies, and pursue those deals on your own. Until I start popping up in keynotes at Advertising conferences, it’s going to be a while before advertisers come hunting for you.

But I’m working on waking the sleeping giants.