I have a 46 inch HDTV in my living room. The screen size on an iPad is 9.7 inches (or 7.85 on the mini version). The screen size on an iPhone is about four inches.

That’s progress. Because users can access video anywhere with these smaller devices the future belongs to online video. You can ask just about anybody who knows anything.

The British-based fourthsource.com did just that. Most effusively, Chris Koopmans, vice president and general manager (and the title just goes on and on) for Citrix, predicts, “Video content will double in volume in 2013, and its overall percentage of total mobile data traffic on networks will rise to 60%.”

He points out that according to analytics from Citrix Bytemobile (no kidding!), in late 2012, “You Tube traffic generated from mobile devices accounted for 25% of the total data usage on networks, and mobile views have risen from 6% to 25% over the past 18 months.” Bytemobile says video content will double in volume in 2013, and basically then warns that networks better be ready to handle the flow of that. Mobile users are not a very patient bunch.

This is encouraging news for advertisers using online video either in pre-roll commercials or other longer videos that entertain while they sell.

You can hardly doubt there’s engagement there—you’ve got that little phone, or iPad in your hand and you’ve chosen the experience.

But the experience, usually, is less than five minutes long per video, which means, to me at least, that online video users, given how much they watch, can’t be taking much of it in. A very limited study by Yume and IPG Media Lab last year says I’m wrong: Viewers of online video ads recall those commercials twice as much as TV commercials, they say.

The real rocket for online video should probably be connected TVs, which grew a lot—by 25%–in 2012, according to eMarketer estimates. They say those double-digit increases will go on through 2016. By the end of this year, eMarketer expects 35.1 million U.S. households will have at least one TV connected to the Internet. That’s nearly three in ten households, and that’s a pretty awesome statistic when you consider that only a little less than half of all households have DVRs, and they’ve been around forever, in the relative terms employed here at Digital Wonderland.

That explosion of connected TVs ought to be a game changer in one fundamental way. Advertisers still leery about jumping into online video advertising should feel comfortable knowing-as they surely will in this super-measured universe—that their message is being seen on the first screen. But in a business where everything is up by astronomical proportions year by year, or even month by month, the big gains in online video probably won’t strike home until long after it’s become the norm.


Source: MediaPost Publications

By P.J Bednarski