Five Trends That Are Already Dominating the Online Video Market Today

A trend list that for once does not focus on the future but on the present. What are the developments that are currently shaping the online video market? TO Consider: it’s more than YouTube, programmatic, varied ad formats, brand safety, and (yes) connected TV.


Traditionally, the (marketing) trend lists come by in January. This also applies to the field of online video. They include the standard buzz terms such as programmatic and connected TV (CTV).


They are all interesting trends, but I prefer to live in the here and now rather than focus on what is still to come. Therefore, this overview of five trends that are already dominating the online video landscape and take the channel to the next level.


It’s fair to say that online video carried us through the pandemic. Zoom and Teams kept us in touch with colleagues, Netflix provided entertainment and distraction, and online fitness videos helped us minimise the corona kilos.


The importance of online video is shown by the fact that more than 80 percent of Internet traffic consists of viewing online videos. The figures from the GfK DAM Reach research show that last May in particular, more than 12.1 million people watched or listened to online video and audio streams on Dutch sites and apps.


And according to research by German public TV stations ARD and ZDF, in 2020, 83 percent of respondents in Germany aged 14 and over would watch online videos at least occasionally. By comparison, ten years earlier that figure was only 45 percent. With younger target groups, we can even speak of complete coverage (14-29 years = 100 percent, 30-49 years = 96 percent).


And this at the same time as linear television is losing reach and usage, especially among young people. As an advertiser, you don’t want to miss out on such a large target group. You don’t have to, if you start working today with these five trends that are currently shaping the video advertising market:


1. Online video is much more than YouTube


Of course, when you think of video and advertising, you think of YouTube or social networks like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. But the world of online video is so much bigger than that. It will not have slipped through anyone’s attention that almost all publishers are fanatically producing and publishing online videos themselves.


The large reach and safe environment of these platforms ensure a growing interest in high-quality instream video offerings. In addition, these publishers are also making more and more new interactive advertising formats available: from split screen to shoppable ads to commercials with integrated calls to action.


2. Programmatic advertising is gaining ground


The buzz term programmatic advertising (unfortunately) cannot be missing from my list either. And that’s pretty remarkable since the technology has been an integral part of the procurement landscape for years.


IAB Europe predicted that the tipping point – the moment when 58 percent of the budgets for display and video ads would be spent via programmatic platforms – will be reached in mid-2023. But that tipping point has already been reached in 2019 if you ask me.


At ShowHeroes, we at least generate more revenue with programmatic (video) advertising than with traditional IO business.


But of course that doesn’t apply to all advertisers and that’s why programmatic shouldn’t be missing from my list either. Because as an advertiser or media agency, why would you call and email every publisher individually to set up media deals?


With programmatic, that lengthy negotiation process is a thing of the past and you can get started quickly, even with a small budget. In addition, programmatic technologies are also dynamic and allow messages to be personalized in real time. After all, the more relevant your message is, the greater the engagements with your (potential) consumer are!


3. More diverse ad formats


Despite the growing awareness of the impact of online videos, many advertisers still think that (online) video is a 30-second commercial break. But the expansion of the number of screens on which consumers can be reached is so big that advertisers now have access to countless new advertising formats.


For example, what about in-stream and out-stream videos, reel ads on Facebook and Instagram, top view or infeed videos on TikTok or dynamic split screens and other interactive instream ad solutions on publisher sites.


All these new formats give publishers and advertisers more creative space when building video campaigns. They offer an interactive way of advertising that can make use of numerous dynamic elements, such as video, product showcase, social media feeds, coupons and store locators.


What is even more interesting is that, in addition to standard measurement methods, these interactive elements can also be measured separately. This gives advertisers even more valuable insights into the results of their campaigns.


4. Connected TV


Trend number four is another buzz word that has been in every trend list for a number of years: connected TV (CTV). The reason why I included this is that CTV is no longer something of the future. After years of being presented as a ‘trend’, changing (viewing) behaviour and technological progress have now (finally) ensured that the smart TV is more firmly anchored in the ‘connected’ living room than ever before.


Consumers are watching less and less TV at regular broadcast times: they decide for themselves what content to watch and at what time. In the United States, which is often a good reference for future European developments, almost 9 out of 10 people stream video content via CTV.


Of this group of CTV viewers, 91% watch the ads that surround these online videos, which is a predominantly younger and generally harder to reach target group.


Although the European market infiltration is not yet as high as in the US, Europe is currently a fast growing market for CTV. In Europe’s five largest markets, 50% of all households have a TV that can be connected to CTV, which amounts to 61.5 million households that you can reach as a brand.


5. Brand safety


Is brand safety a trend? Of course. It is still mainly the ‘big’ advertisers that invest time and money in a brand-safe strategy. Because their videos are often used primarily for branding purposes, they do not want to run the risk of being associated as a brand with incorrect content or domains.


This risk is greatest on platforms with user-generated content, such as social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook.


However, I am of the opinion that a brand-safe strategy is not only relevant for the big advertisers. Every brand has to make sure that its video ad is shown in the right context and not next to content that it does not want to be associated with or that simply does not fit the brand.


My advice is therefore always to make use of the possibilities of brand safety filters and to exclude from the campaigns content that has not yet been rated by the platform and carries the label “not yet rated”. This also applies to all content that bears the label “mature audiences”.


To always be sure of the domains where ads are delivered, we advise to buy through a private marketplace (PMP) and/or to use a whitelist.


It feels a little strange not to include the end of third-party cookies in this list, but now that Google has suspended the end of third-party cookies until the end of 2023, this is no longer a trend that is happening now.


The initial intention was to stop supporting third-party cookies in Chrome by the end of 2021. All other major browsers did this much earlier, but that was no reason for advertisers, publishers and related tech parties to adjust their practices accordingly. They continue to use cookies and scripts to track consumer behaviour and build profiles. Google now wants to give the market more time to work on alternative options.


I believe that, despite the postponement, advertisers and agencies would be wise to stick with the old deadline, which is the end of 2021. After all, even without third-party cookies, you can appeal to consumers on the basis of their interests. In some cases, even better.


Contextual targeting, for instance, is a good alternative. The disappearance of the cookie has given contextual advertising a new impulse, because, without the use of personal data, it can still target the context in which a user is interested in.


Agencies and advertisers use existing contextual targeting possibilities in campaign planning systems (e.g. DV360), but increasingly contextual private marketplaces (PMPs) are also requested directly from the publisher or a third party to compare the results. This is often in preparation for a world without cookies. Contextual targeting has the big advantage that this form of targeting is available in large volumes, making it one of the promising alternatives to cookie targeting.


Can’t find the time to tackle the challenge of third-party cookies alongside the other five trends? Then I’d like to advise you to leave the cookies on the shelf and focus on my top five. Because as I said, focus on the present, not just the future. 2023 may be closer than you think, but not as close as what is happening now.



Author: Erik Dubbeldeman, Country Manager at ShowHeroes.

Read the original article published on (in Dutch).