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Get Ready: Commercial Viral Videos to Take Up Even More of Your Time

Production execs face challenges with managing rights and royalties for digital commercials

Is the end of the traditional TV commercial upon us? Probably not—at least for a while—but the channel isn’t seeing a huge production increase either. In an April 2014 study conducted by Talent Partners, US senior advertising executives predicted that social media-driven campaigns would see the most growth in commercial production in 2014, cited by 44% of respondents.

Viral video ranked second, with 30% of senior production execs foreseeing more of these campaigns. As videos often go viral thanks to social sharing, social media will likely benefit from the increased focus on these as well. Meanwhile, respondents expected more traditional formats—TV and print—to see little or no growth.

Based on results from October 2013 polling by Vubiquity, it makes sense that the commercial production space is shifting its efforts to viral video. Out of the US smartphone users surveyed, 44% said they watched viral videos on their phones, the second most popular digital video type they viewed regularly; 43% of computer users and 37% of tablet users also reported watching viral clips on those devices.

However, Talent Partners found that US senior agency executives faced challenges thanks to the transition to digital commercials, as well as new provisions from SAG-AFTRA—specifically, those related to rights and royalties.

The top hurdle to managing rights and royalties for commercials was the need for a system to track them, cited by 32% of respondents. A close 30% were concerned about others using an asset despite not having the rights to it, and the same percentage said new areas—which results indicated were rising the most—presented the most risk for rights and royalties abuse.

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