Here, There and Everywhere: Digital Video Trends in 2010


video_smallADOTAS – For those of us in digital advertising, 2010 marks the kickoff to the next decade of our industry. From online consumer trends to ad interactivity, to 3D and HD technologies and innovations, to online/offline integration — 2010 will be the year of video for the digital advertising industry.

With advancements in the smartphone market, new tablet PC form factors and other larger-screen mobile devices pushing consumption of online-based video, the increase in available content will be the core growth of digital video advertising inventory. Wherever consumer eyes wander, you can be sure that advertising will follow — and the rate at which consumers are consuming video on their PCs, their mobile devices and Internet-based TVs is growing rapidly.

According to the Nielsen third-quarter “Three Screen Report,” online video usage is on the rise, with Internet users watching 53 more minutes of video online in third quarter 2009, a 34.9% increase in viewing time from last year. In addition, the number of people watching mobile video has grown 53% year over year.

With more video being consumed on these alternative screen devices, brands will find new ways of advertising during this content and will subsequently continue to spend more on video based ad formats. Forrester predicts that video will be the fastest growing area of display advertising over the next five years.

Getting in Touch With Interactivity

As the inventory for online video ad placements has increased, advertisers have been quick to fill it with simple in-stream ads (pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll). Consequently, a customer experience issue has arisen.

This is a different beast than your traditional cable or broadcast viewer: Don’t expect them to sit through 15 or 30 second in-stream spots that have been repurposed from your broadcast campaigns. Online consumers expect more and are driving innovations in our industry with the power of their clicks and engagement.

In 2010, advertisers, publishers, agencies and technology companies will continue to push the innovation curve with advancements in online and mobile format by focusing on developing highly custom, interactive and engaging video-based ad formats.

Premium content publishers like ABC, CBS and NBC have had huge success enabling their premium full-episode player environments with custom, immersive advertising experiences. In 2010, look for new technologies, formats and features that truly engage consumers, and offer opportunities to do way more than just watch the seconds countdown until their video resumes.

‘True’ 3D… Coming Soon to a PC Near You?

Three-dimensional movies like “Avatar” and “Up” have been a hot topic over the past year with ticket sales reaching record numbers as audiences have lined up at theaters for these incredible movie experiences. Will 3D make its way into our TV and PC viewing experiences in the near future, forcing advertisers to get on the 3D train?

The topic of 3D can be a confusing one as it relates to the interactive world when compared to the “stereoscopic” 3D world of movies like “Avatar” that we see in IMAX theaters. Digital technology companies like Unicast are pushing the envelope with rich media technologies (like Papervision3D) that enable the delivery of real-time, rich, three dimensional online and mobile ads.

You’ll certainly hear a lot more about 3D in 2010, but 3D comes in many shapes and sizes — especially in the online advertising world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see companies emerge with software and hardware solutions for online stereoscopic (“Avatarlike”) video in the future, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if you are waiting to see it in an ad near you in 2010.

HD Online: Gaining Traction

Hi-def content has become commonplace in our living rooms. The question for online advertisers is, why haven’t we seen the same adoption curve in video content online?

The simple answer is in the economics. The cost of serving an HD video file over the web is still much higher than a standard definition video file. This along with the variability of serving cost when offering users the choice between HD and standard video viewing has made advertisers reluctant to expand heavily into HD video for their ads. In 2010, look for continued reductions in serving costs and alternative pricing models that will empower advertisers to explore options for HD video ads.

Continued Online/Offline Integration

Now that video is completely digitally based, it seems inevitable that the two distinct advertising operational structures that we see today across advertisers, agencies and publishers will eventually converge and realize efficiencies of a truly unified model for video-based ad operations across traditional broadcast/cable and online/mobile platforms.

Integration is definitely a hot topic. According to a recent Forrester “2010 Predictions” report, “online technologies and processes are seeping into television media. … Television buyers and sellers should spend 2010 learning from their online brethren how to target, optimize, and automate bid-based buys in order to be ready when the television upfront takes a backseat to the ‘online-like’ rules of order.”

The reality is that there are a lot of factors that will prove to be influencers, or barriers, to this convergence. There is not yet a consensus in our industry on how or how much these two video workflows should converge.

In 2010, I expect that the following trends will continue to make this topic one to watch:

  • Growth in the prevalence of online video (in terms of both content and consumption)
  • The continued shift in budgets being allocated towards online and mobile video related media buys
  • The desire for more robust and consolidate metrics and analysis around video campaigns across mediums
  • Economic conditions and the forced reduction of staffing models employed by agencies, publishers and advertisers
  • Technology advances in TV, mobile, cable and PC hardware

What other trends do you expect to see in digital video advertising in 2010? Share your opinion with the rest of the Adotas readership by leaving a comment.


  1. Like you stated in your article. This is a huge year for video marketing. I’ll be anticipating the new releases of many new features. We’ve come a long way in the world of technology. Thanks for your article!!


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