Web Video Ads Will Not Save Your Soul

Now Google and AOL have the numbers they need to get marketers to
move their ad spend from television to new Web video advertising formats.

According to a study commissioned by the two companies and conducted
by market insight and information group TNS, 75 percent of
respondents in a recent online survey said they watched more video
online than they did a year ago and over half expect to watch more
online video in the next year.

Seventy-eight percent agreed that online video ads provide as much or
more of an opportunity to learn about an advertiser than television. Better news yet for Google and AOL, 63 percent of respondents said
they prefer video sites to include advertising in order to keep
content free.

Other data points that Madison Avenue should be prepared for include these respondents’ eagerness to act after viewing Web Video
ads. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated they have taken
action after seeing an online video, 44 percent going to a company’s
Web site, 33 percent searching for a product or service, 22 percent
visiting a bricks and mortar store and 21 percent discussing the
advertised product with friends or family.

The survey, which includes responses from 2,394 online video viewers
between 18 and 54 years old, also indicates that Web video ads
results in 32 percent of viewers characterizing the featured brand as
“innovative,” 32 percent “creative,” and 30 percent “fun.”

But though Google and AOL paid for the good numbers, the companies
won’t be the only to benefit. Though the TNS survey
specifically contrasts the benefits of Web video against traditional
television advertising, some traditional television broadcasters
stand to benefit.

That’s because broadcasters have become heavily
invested in the ad format.

NBC and News Corp. announced plans to form a video distribution
network for premium content last March. News Corp. president and CEO
Peter Chernin and NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker said
the network will feature thousands of hours of full-length
programming, movies and clips from at least a dozen networks and two
major film studios.

In August, the companies dubbed the venture Hulu and is rumored to have made their first acquisition. Hulu will
launch in beta next month.

Last week, the Disney-ABC Television Group announced a deal to
provide full-length episodes of its primetime shows on AOL video.
Before that, NBC Universal made similar news when it announced it
would allow users to download shows and watch them up to a week after
their original broadcast.

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