Online Video: A Question of Quality

Posted by Tina On January 10, 2014

The video market is expanding rapidly. Expenditure in the Australian market is expected to hit $140m this year as more brands shift TV money into online video.

In fact many advertisers are now investing as much as 5-10% of their traditional TV spends into online video. Great I hear you say, however that level of demand is creating key challenges for the industry, crucially a lack of quality content.

On the one hand this shortage means publishers/broadcasters are able to charge $60-70 CPM for their premium content, but on the other, a dearth of supply means this type of inventory source is few and far between, meaning demand is outstripping supply, which is holding back the market.

Faced with such a shortage, it would be easy to drop our quality thresholds, to be persuaded that less premium content, which is often associated with being less safe, could also be suitable for our clients. This isn’t a game we’re looking to play.

If there’s one thing that brand marketers want more than more supply, its protection. Making sure that the content their brands appear against is safe.

This is a particularly sensitive subject when it comes to making the decision to shift money from TV – where the environment offered by each channel is known and understood – to online video, where there are perceived to be more uncertainties.

With most pre-roll advertising revenue and creative now coming from traditional TV budget, there’s an absolute need to make sure that the site where an ad appears has the same quality environment as the brand content.

In TV when you buy an ad spot you know that the surrounding editorial content will be of a certain quality. We have made a conscious decision to extend this expectation to online video. Ensuring quality environments for campaign delivery is in everyone’s best interest, especially for the long term growth of our industry, as we work to convince buyers to shift their ad dollars online.

This approach to brand safety will deliver over time by ensuring both brand reassurance in the medium, as well as better results.

My Videology colleagues in the UK have data which shows that broadcast-quality content delivers a seven percentage point increase on view through rate compared to professionally-produced web-based content. That’s impressive evidence that quality delivers.

Every brand takes exceptional care not to damage their consumer perception. Be it via rigorous packaging checks, corporate social responsibility initiatives or relentless quality control.

The online video business needs to take the same steps. We need to dress our advertisers’ messages in the best possible clothing and ensure they get the strong results their investment deserves.

Inventory shortage may be holding us back short term but this is not an area where we can afford to cut corners.

Taking a strong line now will ensure a prosperous future for all.