This final reflective post will focus on online video advertising and the way in which this form of advertising is impacting on the digital marketing environment and what affect this has on the public sphere. I will be making evaluations upon what I have learnt throughout the course of writing this blog, and will base my conclusions on findings within my previous blogs.
Watching online videos is fast becoming one of the predominant activities for the majority of internet users, with 78% of people watching videos online at least once a week and 55% of people watching online videos daily (Howells, 2013). This increase of online video consumption saw an increase of 38% from 2011 to 2012, with videos expected to account for 57% of consumer internet traffic by 2015, which is nearly four times as much traffic as any other form of web browsing (Cisco, 2012).
This, alongside the recent news that Youtube is cutting the cost of advertising via their site, leaves little surprise as to why using online videos as a form of advertising is now considered to be a powerful and imperative marketing tool for many brands and businesses; with anybody not doing so being likely to be left in the wake of their competition.
It is no surprise to me that online video advertising has taken off as much as it has. When I consider the amount of time I and people I know spend watching videos online in comparison to the more traditional methods of consumption such as television, there was clearly a necessity for marketers to recognise this and partially withdraw television ad spend in order to increase money spent advertising via online videos.
A recent report by comScore demonstrates this influx in spending by businesses on online video advertising. They declare that in December 2012 around 23% of online videos had ads in them. This figure compares to just 14% of videos in December 2011, which represents an increase of 64% in the volume of adverts attached to online videos on a year-to-year basis (comScore, 2013). Within that same time period, the time which consumers actually spent watching video adverts rose by 58%; taking the % of all minutes spent viewing videos online up to 1.9% (Howells, 2013).
These figures appear to me to be a true representation of the way in which consumers are viewing adverts, and to what mass. As a university student, my work schedule often doesn’t allow me to watch television at the times when programmes are first scheduled; this means that I tend to watch the majority of television programmes online and on-demand. During this time I have observed a noticeable increase in the number of ads shown alongside programmes that I have been watching; which coincides with the findings within comScore’s report.
There are, however, certain stumbling blocks that advertisers will have to overcome in order to reach the vast numbers of internet users. For instance, ad-blocking software has been developed which, when installed, blocks all adverts from appearing on web pages and videos. One particular piece of software called ‘Ad Block Plus’ has been downloaded over 180million times since it was made available in 2007 (economist, 2012). This consumer trend has proved difficult to stem; demonstrated in 2010 when Technology-news outlet ‘Ars Technica’ found that 40% of its users were blocking its ads. They took the measure of blocking their access for a day, but managed to sign up only 200 users (from 5million users a month) for its ad-free version.
It is clear that Google recognise the significant impact that the blocking of ads could have on their profitability from advertising. It is therefore, of little surprise that they have recently removed ad-blocking software from their app store, stating that “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.” (Google, 2013). Co-founder of AdBlock responded to Google, stating that “Google is stepping all over the checks and balances that make the Internet democratic”, going on to state that “We encourage advertising that is done appropriately and conforms to an Acceptable Ads policy.” (Faida, 2013).
I read into these recent occurrences with great interest, as I am not only an internet user, but also a consumer and a stakeholder within marketing. From an internet user’s point of view, I recognise that certain online adverts can be intrusive and annoying, therefore, I feel that I should have the option to remove ads that pop up or interfere with what I am doing. However, as a marketer, I believe that web pages and web video is an important medium for advertisers to be able to utilise. Taking this into consideration, I would argue that any adverts that do not conform to an Acceptable Ads policy should be automatically removed, allowing organisations and consumers to share their online space without either party feeling any grievance.
Over the course of the last three months, I have gone from a student with partial knowledge about digital media and blogging itself, to now, holding a passion for blogging and beholding an in-depth knowledge and opinion on digital media. This has subsequently taught me that, the digital landscape is ever-changing; therefore, if I am to sustain any knowledge on the subject, it is essential to keep up to date on the goings on in the digital media world. I will keep up to date on the world of digital media by utilising a digital medium that I have also learned about whilst writing my blog; an RSS feed, which will forward to me relevant web pages and articles relating to digital media.
If I were to have the opportunity to repeat my blog, I would choose an alternative provider such as Blogger as opposed to WordPress. This is because Blogger tends to attract more viewers and interactivity than WordPress; the likelihood being because Blogger is owned by Google which results in Blogger appearing higher within search engine results. Having developed such an interest in digital media, I look forward to continuing my blog in my spare time; I believe this could also aid me within my future career, as it will not only give me an insight into the current digital environment, but could also act as a useful example to show prospective employers.
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