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Beijing Olympic Games Online brings in $5.75 million in video ad spending

August 22, 2008

NEW YORK (Aug. 22, 2008)—The 2008 Beijing Olympics have had millions of Americans glued to the screen, whether on TV or online, with record viewership and Web site traffic. However, the great popularity of the games did not quite translate to huge amounts of video advertising. Based on video stream figures released by NBC, eMarketer estimates video ad spending on the site will reach $5.75 million. That sum is surely a passable performance for a bit more than two weeks, but it represents only 1.1% of this year’s online video ad spending projection of $505 million in the US.

Even with the Olympics’ popularity, much of the record traffic on was not video viewers. One reason for that discrepancy? users were forced to download Microsoft Silverlight, the company’s competitor to Adobe Flash, and being asked to download something to access content tends to eliminate part of the audience.

Still, the 2008 Olympics are a high-profile example of how sports will be a major contributor to video advertising. Several attributes make sports on the Internet an ideal platform to support ad growth as it is nearly always professionally produced, trusted content to attract brand marketers.

“One might just award NBC’s online presentation of the summer Olympics a bronze medal then,” says David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst. “As a signifier for future online events, the games set a high bar for the competition—establishing that major sports events, tournaments and professional leagues ought to offer an abundance of video content online, not just snippets.”

To speak to David Hallerman about the online video market, reach out to the eMarketer media contacts listed below.

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Kris Oser
Director of strategic communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6033
Samson Adepoju
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Tel. 212-763-6044


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