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Audience buying through video – is it time to go online?

Developments in technology are unlocking endless avenues for video content, increasing both the number of channels broadcasting video and the devices through which it can be consumed. Relative newcomers to the market like Facebook and YouTube have seen impressive growth and daily hours viewed increasing year after year. On top of this, these newcomers to the video market bring the possibility of hyper-targeted campaigns to ensure you’re reaching your audience within an increasingly segmented market. 

With online video leading these advancements in audience targeting, the pressure appears to be on the linear channels to catch up.  We aimed to review the video market as it stands to identify the role audience targeted video should have within media campaigns.  

Breaking down video consumption
In Thinkbox’s 2019 viewing report, total video consumption was analysed through combining data from BARB, comScore, the IPA’s Touchpoints and Rentrak box office data. This analysis highlighted that broadcaster TV accounted for 68% of daily video consumption in 2019, a figure that has only declined by 8% over the past 4 years. Additionally, when looking specifically into the time spent watching video advertising broadcaster TV owns 93% of the overall share.

Share of video consumption

Share of video advertising time

Despite online video (YouTube + other online video) only accounting for 6.5% of all video advertising, time analysis conducted by the advertising associate/WARC into the relative spends per channel indicated that 27% (£1.9 billion) of video spend was spent on online video in 2018. This is a disproportionately high number that reflects upon the main barrier between online video and performance marketing which is the eye-watering cost of entry.

Audience buying and wastage
The immediate push back on the higher cost-per-thousands (CPT’s) for online video is that you pay for what you are getting, highly targeted access to the audience of your choice.  The same cannot be said for TV where target audiences are much broader and therefore the possibility for wastage is greater.

The concept of wastage is important and is a factor that has key differences when comparing linear and online video. Primarily, although the chance for wastage through linear TV is greater, through audience buying you will only pay for the impacts served to your audience. This wastage is therefore in essence additional value that is not costing the campaign.

Despite the improved targeting capabilities through online video, a recent analysis from Nielsen suggests that only 65% of online impressions are served within the ‘in target’ audience. Although this percentage will likely be greater than what will be achieved through linear TV, 35% of impressions served outside of the target audience are still accounted for within the cost of the campaign. 

All Response Media viewpoint
Where you fall on side of live TV vs online video may very well depend on the budget you have available and the objectives of your brand. There are no doubt cases where online video is the right choice of channel and it can be a key driver for a campaign from both a brand and performance level. However, before you refine your audience and chase after highly targeted groups of most likely buyers remember that most products are bought by most people. Audience buying through linear TV provides an opportunity to drive impacts within a target audience whilst building greater brand reach across a wider audience with no extra cost. 

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