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Brands Shift Ad Dollars to Online Video

Publisher, network buys still win out over programmatic for premium placements

October 29, 2013 | Advertising & Marketing | Media Buying | Video

The growth of online video advertising over the past few years has been tremendous. Users are increasingly going online to access content previously only available to them through cable or broadcast television, leading advertisers to chase those eyeballs on the web.

An October 2013 survey from and Digiday polled digital and marketing professionals to get a bead on the state of the video ad industry. They found that online advertising budgets were most often growing at the expense of TV broadcast budgets, according to brands. In fact, 31% of brands that responded were planning to shift their advertising budgets away from broadcast television and into online video, while 30% planned to take money away from display advertising for online video. That represents a significant change since 2012, when brands were pulling dollars from display or print, but less so from television budgets.

Channels from Which Brands in North America Plan to Shift Their Ad Budget to Video, 2012 & 2013 (% of respondents)

Both brands and agencies had similar approaches to buying online video ad inventory. Three-quarters of brands purchased inventory from an ad network, making it the most popular source for those companies. Eighty-six percent of ad agencies bought inventory direct from a publisher, making them the top choice for ad space. But ad networks were almost on par with publishers—85% of agencies said they used them to purchase inventory. The survey also found that programmatic ad buying by both brands and agencies had more than doubled between 2011 and 2013.

Channels Used by Agencies and Brands in North America to Buy Digital Video Ad Inventory, 2011 & 2013 (% of respondents)

While interest in programmatic video ad buying is growing, the number of agencies and brands who have participated in it remains low. But both seem to have the understanding that programmatic ad purchasing channels can offer premium ad inventory. In fact, almost half of agencies and nearly 45% of brands believed premium advertising was available through programmatic environments. Still, programmatic buying has yet to become a tool regularly employed by ad buyers. Nearly one-third of agencies and almost one-quarter of brands said they were unfamiliar with programmatic ad buying techniques.



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