Rising Digital Video Ad Budgets Rely Less On Traditional Media Cuts Than Anticipated

November 13, 2012

Fully 97% of more than 700 surveyed professionals from across the digital media industry report that their digital video ad spending is up this year, for an average increase of 27%, and respondents expect spending on digital video to be up another 20% in 2013, according to Digiday and Adap.tv in a November 2012 report. Interestingly, though, anticipated cuts in traditional media to fund this budget growth have not materialized as much as expected. Instead, digital video is increasingly getting its own budget line.

Across the agencies, brands, publishers, ad networks, and demand side platforms (DSPs) surveyed, the researchers found that while 34% had estimated last year that broadcast TV budgets would be cannibalized to fund digital video, only 27% say that this happened. Similarly, cable budgets were used less than anticipated (13% vs. 23%), as were print (30% vs. 36%) and outdoor (5% to 7%) budgets.

Instead, display budgets were tapped more than expected (37% vs. 33%). Also, 22% said that spending on digital video was incremental, whereas only 10% had expected that to be the case.

TV, Video Increasingly Seen Going Hand-In-Hand

More than half of respondents believe that online video should be more aligned with TV than display ads, a growth of 10% from 6 months earlier, which explains why digital video budgets more commonly came from display than from broadcast TV or cable.

In fact, more than 2 in 3 respondents to the latest survey say that video is a direct complement to TV, an opinion that is up 8% points over the April survey. Among agency respondents, 58% say they plan TV and online video ads together, and 20% expect to do so within the next 12 months. By comparison, just 6 months earlier, 48% were planning TV and online video together and 25% said they would in the following year. This suggests that those who were then expecting to plan the 2 together followed through on that commitment.

Still, there are barriers to the coordinated planning process, as more than half of agency and trading desk respondents believe that TV and digital video planning remain too siloed at their organizations.

Asked where they buy video, advertisers show a rapid take-up of DSPs, rising to 36% usage from just 11% in 2011. Use of exchanges has also markedly grown, up from 11% to 32%. But ad networks lead the pack at 81% (up from 61% in 2011). On the decline as sources of video ad buys: Direct buys (52% vs. 78%) and TV upfronts (19% vs. 44%). Trading desks are new to the survey, and 19% of advertisers currently use them.

Other Findings:

  • The percentage of publishers using sales teams to sell video advertising has dropped from 85% to 51%.
  • Correspondingly, use of ad networks has grown by 18% points to 65%, making it the leading sales mechanism for publishers.
  • 68% of brand respondents said they currently use (41%) or plan to use (27%) 3rd-party tools to guarantee audiences. That figure rises to 86% combined among agencies.
  • 65% of brands, 59% of agencies, and 83% of trading desks are using 1st-party data, and 71% find it effective.

About the Data: The survey was conducted in October 2012. 51% are agencies, 19% publishers, 11% brands, 11% ad networks, 6% DSPs, and 2% trading desks.


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