The Brave New World of Online Video Consumption
Consumers continue to catapult online video consumption into the ethers. For each of the past four months, YouTube video hourly consumption has risen 30%. By 2020, video is predicted to account for 79% of global internet traffic. Brands and advertisers are scrambling to stay at the top of their game and embrace this brave new world, while consumers have traded in their remote control for consumer control, aka choice.
Video Visionary, Rich Greenfield
Recently, Zefr caught up with Media Futurist, Media and Tech Analyst at BTIG, Rich Greenfield – a video visionary in his own right. Greenfield spoke of the dynamic between consumer and advertiser, the advantages of the data-rich environment in which we live, brand safety and the beneficial partnership between advertisers and “companies that truly understand the digital sphere.”
ZEFR: In this rapidly evolving video consumption landscape, what gives? Is the steady decline in traditional television viewership a result of uninterested consumers?
Rich Greenfield: Consumers just have so much choice. It’s not that they don’t like what’s on television, it’s just that they’ve got more choices. The number of scripted television shows has more than doubled over the last five years. So, there’s actually an explosion – there’s over a hundred digital series that are being created right now.
ZEFR: That’s a large playing field for brands to tackle. What do you see as the biggest ad innovation and opportunity being for advertisers right now?
RG: Putting the consumer in control. So, not only showing the right ad, but making sure to give the consumer control. Do they want to watch this ad? I think if you give the consumer the control over whether they want to “watch this ad” you end up with a much happier, satisfied consumer.
“I think if you give the consumer the control over whether they want to ‘watch this ad’ you end up with a much happier, satisfied consumer.”
ZEFR: Speaking of control, what are your thoughts on pre-roll?
RG: The pre-roll business on YouTube is well north of 10 billion dollars globally – it’s a huge business. Pre-roll works. I think when you put the right ad in front of the right person, it’s not upsetting. Whether we’re talking about YouTube or Facebook or lately, Instagram – the ads are becoming content.
ZEFR: Brand safety – resolved or do you seeing the challenge continuing this year?
RG: The challenge is, digital is scary. It’s really hard to police – there’s an infinite amount of content and you’re going to end up with the issues around brand safety that have come up.
ZEFR: What do you see as the solution for brands? How can they protect themselves without sacrificing online video advertising?
RG: Brands have to figure out how to partner with companies who really understand the digital sphere. I think the traditional media companies are really struggling to figure out digital. If they want to push product—move cars off lots, products off shelves—they’re going to have to reach consumers. The only way they’re going to do that is through the big digital platforms and they’re going to have to embrace them.
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