Internet video is high on the popularity charts among netizens in India. With the growing speed of broadband connectivity and newer set of technologies, online video is catching up fast with the Internet savvy population of India. Along with the growing market for online video, online video advertising has become one of the fastest growing advertising mediums around the world. But how fast is online video advertising growing in India, how much are the Indian advertisers able to adapt and adopt this new medium, how much is the availability of home grown online video content? exchange4media seeks to find out from some industry players.
High growth rate
According to reports from E&Y and AC Nielsen, online video advertisement market is set to grow exponentially at 300 per cent in 2009 and has 85 per cent higher brand recall, compared to 54 per cent for the same ad on television.
Commenting on the current state of online video advertising in India, Rishi Khiani, COO, Web18, said, “We at Web18 can safely vouch that there has been an uptake of about 50 per cent from last year in both video-on-demand and live streaming, which we provide for CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz, CNN-IBN and IBN7 on www.in.com . Video consumption has been growing because users are now beginning to look for and consuming a lot of non-conventional routes beyond the TV route.”
Saurabh Bhatia, CBO Global, Vdopia Inc, said, “It has been a very beneficial year for online video ad sales and we have seen a growth of over 10 times in video consumption among users.”
According to Sameer Pitalwalla, Head - Times | Audience Network, “As per out estimates, around 0.6 billion videos are watched in India every month (click to watch, not autoplay). We have seen India origin video traffic double year-on-year. Almost all top-tier portals either already have a web video piece or are working on developing one.”
Shifting budget from TV ad to online video ad
Marketers might still be having their difficulties in understanding and effectively using online video advertising, but there is definitely a stir among advertisers to consider the medium as the next best option. The advantages of the medium vis-à-vis other traditional media, in fact, even other online media options, is, therefore, fast becoming a matter of serious study for media planners.
On the question of advertisers’ response to the new medium, Pitalwalla said, “Currently, online video advertising is a sub-set of digital spends. The ideal scenario that we are all hoping for is when it becomes a sub-set of TV spends. Online video falls in the sweet spot between branding and performance based advertising. It is what we term ‘Measurable Branding’.”
He further said, “We have found advertisers to be very enthusiastic about the medium, it performs better on brand campaigns than banner advertising and providers more ROI metrics besides CTR (Video playthrough, domain-distribution, wider reach because of its viral nature) than generic banner-based brand campaigns.”
Bhatia observed, “Online video ads have become a strategic ad format in all of advertisers’ media budget/plans. Advertisers continue to shift budgets from television advertising, thus video ads are becoming a driving force in overall Internet ad spending gains. There are clear ROI advantages to placing video ads. We expect to see strong growth in the number of companies reaping the benefits of online video advertising in the coming months and year.”
Content providers don’t want to miss the bus
There is a lot of Indian content that is yet to go online. But apart from the milestones set by YouTube, there are a lot of video content providers and publishers who have created audience for the online video medium.
“We are witnessing an interesting trend that content producers and publishers are showing greater urgency so that they are not left behind in this revolution. People are increasingly watching online videos and spending more time on their PCs as compared to TV. This demand in online shift has many players coming up with video content on their site/portal. For Web publishers, video advertising represents an important revenue stream,” said Bhatia of Vdopia.
The future trends
An optimistic Pitalwalla felt, “As the Web transitions from a pure text to a more application heavy experience, video will emerge as the killer application. Online video consumption, in my opinion, will eat into the attention span that information services built around online text command.”
According to Khiani of Web18, “With broadband connectivity improving and 3G around the corner, video consumption will only grow from strength to strength. In the next few years, the growth curve will be as steep as the previous year as there are vast unpenetrated markets there, hungry for video content as phones become more sophisticated and bandwidth stops becoming a bottleneck.”
Massive growth, innovation driven demand, and convergence across devices are some of the trends cited that would revolutionise the future of online video adverting in India.