MediaRadar Blog

the online video gold rush

The Online Video Gold Rush

The gold rush of online video advertising has ensued in full force—the buzz, energy and frenzy have pushed online video mainstream. Now most major digital publishers and broadcasters offer online video ad formats.

YouTube was founded in 2005 and received 8 million views a day by the end of the year. Since then it’s evolved into a major digital platform for publishers. MediaRadar has taken a close look to identify industry trends and to glean key insights for publishers.

Online video is a key driver in digital ad spend with $9.6 billion predicted ad spend for 2016. In 2015, $1.5 billion dollars shifted from TV to digital. MediaRadar found that 10% of TV advertisers bought online video ads in Q1 2016. What’s interesting is that 4% of TV advertisers that didn’t buy online video in Q1 2015 have started adopting online video in Q1 2016. The online video landscape consisted of 2,073 online video advertisers in Q1 of 2016. And publishers are still adapting to sell more video spots and acquire necessary tech needed for hosting videos.

Trend #1 Video is Becoming Shorter

Seventy-six percent of online video ads are 15 or 30 seconds in length. However, we noticed an increase in shorter video spots. In Q1 2016, 15 second spots overtook 30 second spots as the most popular video length in online video advertising. Forty-one percent of video ads ran 15 seconds while only 35% were 30 second spots. In Q1 2015, the 15 second spots and 30 second spots were more evenly tied in popularity (38% vs. 39%).

Trend #2 The Majority of Video Ads Cannot Be Skipped

Eighty-five percent of online video ads are un-skippable. Shorter video ads are less likely to have a skip option. Almost all of the video ads (98%) that run less than 10 seconds are un-skippable. Ninety-three percent of 15 second spots are un-skippable. When it comes to 30 second spots, 78% of them do not have a skip option.

Trend #3 Digital Bundles

Twenty-six percent of online video ads are accompanied by display or rich media ads. For example, many advertisers run page takeovers, where all ads are for a specific product or service (regardless of ad format). This further engages consumers and makes a greater impact on moving consumer perception more than a single ad unit.

Trend #4 Industry-Wide Adoption

Media and entertainment have the most advertisers (451) placing video ads in Q1 2016. This is three times more than the number of automotive advertisers (132), the top advertiser group in linear TV. More than half of them were television shows and movies. The technology and retail category follow in second and third place, with 196 and 186 advertisers respectively. Financial, professional services and food are also the top categories in the adoption of online video.

Trend #5 Tech and Auto at the Top

Microsoft Cloud was the NO.1 video advertiser in Q1 2016, placing video ads across 103 websites. TurboTax and IBM Watson were the other two technology brands that gravitated to online video in Q1 2016. Both placed video ads across 82 websites. For the automotive industry, Lexus RX (a luxury crossover model) was the top car model advertised in video in Q1. Lexus RX bought video ads across 70 websites. Land Rover and Mazda USA were also top advertisers for online video.

Use these key industry trends or gold nuggets to increase your viewership and increase your ad sales. The gold rush of online video will endure—so continue to improve and adjust your online video offerings based on best practices.


Example: Canon placed one video ad along with skin ads and display ads on the homepage of in May 2016.