Michael Foster

For advertisers looking for video buys at a fraction of the cost but still providing high engagement and value, online video has become an increasingly important part of the mix.

For almost a decade now bloggers, vloggers, entertainers, journalists and pundits have been leveraging online video as a content distribution channel and for most of online video's short history these videos were poorly monetized.

In a recent Nielsen report, live viewing of television in the second quarter of 2012 fell to 4 hours and 18 minutes per day, down five minutes from a year ago. At the same time, "second screening" is becoming more commonplace, with nearly 40 percent of Americans daily using a second device, usually a tablet or smartphone, while watching television.

Live television consumption has remained relatively stable over the past few years, and this year's fall in live TV consumption might be more of a blip than the beginning of a trend. In the second quarter of 2009, 4 hours and 23 minutes were spent watching live TV but that number fell to 4 hours and 20 minutes in 2010 only to recover again in 2011.

While live TV consumption habits remain relatively stable, or at least have failed to develop a consistent trend line, the exponential growth in tablet consumption is an undeniable trend. It is easy to forget that tablets were effectively nonexistent as recently as the second quarter of 2010.

While second-screening on a daily basis has not yet saturated American culture, it is certainly on its way. Second-screening is no longer foreign to most Americans, since 85 percent of survey respondents told Nielsen that they use a second screen at least once a month while watching television.

The implications for advertisers is enormous: not only will advertisers need better tools to define how to utilize second screening in cross-platform campaigns, but they will also need better creative that helps produce more effective cross-platform campaigns.

Advertising platforms and networks will also need to think of how the growing habit of second screening will impact their cost models, unit offerings and value proposition. Mobile ad platforms, DSPs and networks were well represented at this year's ad:tech; mobile specialists Tapjoy were one of the biggest sponsors of the conference. It seems clear that move to second-screening will put mobile--which still remains a tiny sliver of the overall advertising market--at center stage as an important part of any cohesive ad campaign.

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 New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.