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What to Expect in Online Video for 2013: Top Predictions from Industry Leaders

Predictions are always a tricky thing. In the past couple years it’s been easy. There were gaping holes in video advertising as compared to other forms, but last year saw many of them closed. With 2013 now here the question is, what will the new year bring with it? I spoke to a couple industry leaders about just that and have a few thoughts of my own on it.

Because of the cost of both video production and video advertising I think the main drive to continued expansion will have to be better real-time data. Without being able to quickly see the trends and react to them it’s hard to hit the highest ROI possible. I think we’ll see a refining process or perhaps a fine-tuning process in the information that is being provided to the ad buyer. Many of the metrics that we have are based on older forms of advertising and aren’t exactly the best they can be. Views are subjective, iGRP is still in its infancy, etc. As all of these metrics mature we will eventually see a ‘perfect fit’ which combines several of these major metrics to give ad buyers a quick idea of how well their campaigns are performing.

In terms of actual video advertising? More interaction is the way of the future. There are still loads of video ads I see that are nothing more than digitized TV ads. Many advertisers seems to still be missing out on the whole interaction thing and with the rise of connected TV, interaction is going to continue to grow as well. That means some new, more interesting video ad forms will evolve into interactive experiences instead of lean back. It also means that viewers should have more control over the ad experience by being offered more choice in what ads are offered.

Finally, I think it’s safe to say that by the end of 2013, you will need to be showing over one billion video ads a month to make it into the comScore video metrix charts for video ad properties. December saw the 10th place network, Tremor Video, showing 703 million and the number one network, BrightRoll showing over 1.77 billion ads. Hopefully everyone will manage to maintain that low frequency, clearly Hulu is going in the opposite direction and I bet they hit 80 ads per viewer each month (62.5 as of December).

Suranga Chandratillake - blinkx Founder

Suranga gives a broader overall view including mobile, enterprise and connected TV across several predictions for 2013.

1. Mobile break-point: we’re going to see a number of key activities on the web occur more on mobile than on desktop.  Local Search will be the first to fall (may have already fallen), but I think regular search, social networking (especially micro-social networking like twitter and photo-based), and even news-consumption hit the break-point in 2012. Given that very few companies actually have a meaningful business model for mobile this is both an exhilarating and terrifying change.

2. Enterprise is back: the investors have already spoken with their feet, but in general I think we’re going to see some really interesting companies come out of Enterprise vs. Consumer next year.  In particular, I think we’re going to see cloud-models that were built for consumers or pro-sumers (think of things like DropBox) get translated over and I think a lot of really interesting big data stuff is going to happen in enterprise, not consumer.

3. Connected TV: I put this one on every year, more out of hope than any precise belief.  Someone has to crack the killer app that makes Connected TV make sense for regular consumers.  It won’t come from second screens (reputedly have atrocious engagement rates) and I don’t think Google or Apple are going to figure it out.