Where is Online Video Advertising Going?
A report released by eMarketer.com claims that online advertising revenues will increase to $775 million dollars by the end of 2007. Since the dawn of online video communities such as YouTube and MySpace, you are constantly hearing discussions of the video boom. For example, Businessweek.com released an article today discussing the eMarketer report. As a company that deals in online video production, we find this to be exciting news but have to constantly remind ourselves that online video communities aren't filled with advertisements.
We give a huge amount of credit to the web video communities for constructing a creative, shared environment that is very entertaining and user driven. Video advertising is currently not going this route. Instead, it serves as a precursor to interesting video content. For instance, when you see an interesting headline on Yahoo! but have to watch an ad first to get to the interesting video. That strategy flies in the face of what users like about these video communities. Forced exposure to your message is a turn off.
It is important to recognize that online video presentations can be very dynamic and should be used to engage users. Don't deliver the standard "auto pilot" TV formats. Give options and control of the presentation to the user. Our theory is if your viewer glosses over parts of the presentation / advertisement they aren't interested in because they want to navigate to a section they are interested in you will make a much longer impression. The alternative may be losing their attention and possibly not gaining it back.