The shifting norms of video advertising

A couple articles in the New York Times in the last couple days show how the world of advertising applied to motion media or video  is morphing. Today a story talks about the “surprising” fact that a decent proportion of people with Digital Video Recorders like Tivo do not skip ads. They make a big point about  a recent Nielsen Company report that shows that 42 percent of those who watch their programs at a time-shifted time, do, in fact, watch the commercials. The general assumption is that the percentage of those who watch ads is much lower, like very few. However, as Simon points out elsewhere on this blog, that number is more a creature of the transition to new habits. For 40 years people watched TV with ads and those habits will not change overnight. But change they will as the new options become easier and more ingrained in new habits.

The second story is about some of the new ways that video on the web is being supported by advertising. The piece does an overview of the various ways, and specific companies, that are spreading the wealth of advertising revenues to bottom-up content creators. Right now all the attention goes to YouTube videos, but in that system the creators get nothing except fame. A competing company called Revver, actually attaches the ads to viral video, and give the creators of the content as cut of the revenue that is generated.

Anyhow, taking these two stories together, you see two trends coming together. The demise (albeit slower than expected transitional demise) of the old system of 30-second ads on traditional TV. And the rise of new forms of ads attached to video on the web. At some point in the next five years, a new system of advertising attached to video content will emerge, and more clarity will come.

Peter Leyden