A business would be hard-pressed to find a hotter, more promising or more explosive promotional medium right now than the video ad. Marketing with video offers exponential promise and comScore estimates that U.S. consumers watched double the number of internet video advertisements in 2011 than they did in 2010.
YouTube video ads are still the king of the medium but video commercials on Hulu, Facebook and Amazon are also adding huge numbers to these totals. Comcast and Viacom are also jumping in to the video on demand game with powerful and enormous content libraries just waiting to have 30 second video ads put in front of them or overlay in-video ads stuck in.
A comScore study found that U.S. viewers watched nearly 40 billion web videos in February 2012 alone. Smart businesses will want a piece of that action. However, those businesses will still struggle chasing that action because these online video ads are being viewed over an increasingly complex litany of mobile devices, tablets, gaming consoles and finicky delivery interfaces -- many of which handle the ad differently.
And that's only the beginning of your troubles.
"Ad technology becomes prone to ad-blocking capabilities," says Andy Beach, VP of marketing and product management for SeaWell Networks. SeaWell Networks will be at ad:tech San Francisco displaying their media management software Spectrum, a tool that optimizes advertisement viewing, eliminates unwanted pauses between ads and content and busts those ad-blockers down.
With Spectrum, "there is no ad-blocking technology that could usurp play," Mr. Beach told Allvoices. "Ad people definitely love that."
SeaWell is participating in ad:tech as part of the Startup Spotlight Series, in a session showcasing innovate startups in online video ad delivery. Another represented startup, Dotstudioz of Burbank, CA, has a platform so zoom-zoom-zooming that they're being sponsored at ad:tech by the Toyota Scion.
"We've had to create new workflows in order to accomodate for all the different places you can deliver content nowadays," says Dotsudioz co-founder Joe Pascual. "Maybe you're delivering to YouTube, maybe you're delivering to Hulu, maybe you're delivering for iTunes. What we've done is basically just put this together in a really tightly packaged workflow and management system where you can manage this whole workflow together so you can really engage the people who want to be part of the story wherever they are."
His co-founder Phoenix Gonzalez sees video ad delivery as more than just a client relationship. "Filmmakers, media producers, brands, broadcasters, advertisers... it gives them the opportunity to have their own battleship," Ms. Gonzalez said, noting Dotstudioz' powerful analytics and performance tracking features.
At ad:tech, Dotstudioz will premiere their Fan Incentiving Engine called Viral Swagger. Viral Swagger ingeniously identifies "influencers", or individuals with powerful sharing capabilities on social networks. "Viral Swagger is a Fan Incentiving Engine designed to create a transparent, 2 ways dialogue between Digital Media Professionals and Influencers," the company said in an email.
You might not think of the world's largest video encoding service as a startup but Encoding.com is a small company with an outsize track record. They're behind the popular video service Vid.ly, a sort of "Bit.ly for videos" wherein your video content is instantly transcoded to the 14 most popular web and mobile formats.
"The bad news is that it's going to get worse before it gets better, as far as having to prepare video for iOS platforms and Android platforms and Blackberrys and older feature phones," said Encoding.com President Jeff Malkin. "The good news is that companies like ours are getting better at making that easier for you."
Companies like his will be featured at the ad:tech New Video Platforms session Tuesday, April 3 at 5 p.m.
This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech San Francisco event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.