Online Video Trends & Contextual Advertising

    November 21, 2006

PodZinger has announced the results of its proprietary research into consumer behavior and online video advertising viewing preferences. The research reveals that not only will viewers tolerate advertisements that appear during their search for online audio and video content, they willingly accept that short ads come with the territory.

These results, in combination with aggregated consumer behavior statistics for online content, further emphasize the importance of streamlined, targeted, non-intrusive video advertisements.

The following is a detailed summary of the study’s findings gathered from the company’s blog as well as the report of findings:

PodZinger also examined behavior patterns of consumers on its site to set the baseline for consumer behavior, discovering that:

•   Consumers typically play only 15 percent of an entire online video or audio, which are 7.5 minutes and 22 minutes in length, respectively.
•   Consumer attention span for online video is much shorter than audio – one minute vs. three minutes on average.
•   Consumers are more likely to play content online than they are to download it by a factor of almost 6 to 1 (5.7 to1).
•   Of all the categories tracked by PodZinger, five of these, including entertainment, technology, news and politics, music and sports, represent approximately 85 percent of all online activity. Additionally, online activity does not track to the volume of content available, e.g. entertainment represents 36 percent of all online video play, but only 6 percent of available video.

Highlights of the market research:
•   Not only do consumers tolerate advertisements that appear during their search for online audio and video content, they also willingly accept that short 10-15 seconds ads are “part of doing business” on the Web.
•   Consumers prefer 10-15 second ads in comparison to the typical 30-second television commercials. However, many expressed concern about frequency of video ads and were considered “annoying” if repeated often.
•   A high percentage of respondents viewed targeted advertisements that were relevant to their online search as positive and more personal.

Other notable patterns indicate that:
•   Consumers will listen to audio for almost 3 times longer as they will watch a video – an average of 3 min. versus 1 min.
•   Consumers are more likely to play content online than they are to download it by a factor of almost 6 to 1.

“With Internet video consumption surging, advertisers are clamoring for a best-in-class solution for delivering branded and relevant online messages.” said Alex Laats, CEO of PodZinger.

“To accomplish that, it is essential to develop a deeper understanding of what consumers are watching and listening. Our technology uniquely allows PodZinger to connect advertisers to consumers based on consumer intent, and the response in the marketplace has been overwhelming.”

If you think the significance of these statistics is overrated, consider for a moment that Google shelled out $1.65 billion reasons to consider the importance of online video advertising when it purchased YouTube, the popular online video storage site.

Most Internet users understand that “free” video actually comes with a price tag, and it manifests itself in the form of an advertising model. People gladly accept that commercials offset the cost of television product, and by the same respect online video watchers are willing to endure short advertisements if it means they get to watch the clip for free.

One of the key differences between television and online video, however, is that advertisers have the opportunity to gear their marketing campaigns in a completely contextual direction, applying direct, relevant advertising and product placement to video clips in which users have already exhibited an interest by clicking.

So with contextual relevance in mind, it will be important for marketers to keep an ever-watchful eye on these types of video trends in the days to come.

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.