Article by Paul Fisher. First published in AdNews, February 26 2010

Well it's 2010, I've been back in the office barely a week and all the talk and buzz is about video.

In the 6 months to June 2009 online video advertising in the US accounted for $US477million or 4% of the $US 11.5billion total online advertising market. This was up from $US350 million or 3% in the 6 months to June 2008, a growth of 36% year on year. What is interesting in the US statistics though is online video advertising accounted for 12.5% of the general display advertising category. This is substantially greater than in the UK or Australia.

Jason Glickman writes in Online Video Insider that "In 2009, advertisers are projected to spend $699 million on online video ads, an increase of 32% from last year, "outpacing growth rates for most other emerging media platforms," according to a forecast from Brian Wieser, Global Director of Forecasting for Magna.

An even more bullish forecast comes from "...Jack Myers says that online video advertising will increase by 115% to $968 million in 2009 and is forecasting it to be the fastest growing segment of the media industry through 2012, when it is expected to hit nearly $5 billion."

In the same periods in the UK, online video advertising accounted for GBP 11.4 million, or 4% of the UK online display advertising market, although less than 1% of the total online advertising expenditure. However, this was up a spectacular 195% on the same period the previous year when online video advertising only accounted for GBP 3.9 million.

Here in Australia, the IAB and PWC have begun to capture online video advertising expenditure which accounted for $4.7 million or 4% of the general display advertising expenditure in Q3 of 2009. This is still a very small amount, representing only 1% of the total Australian online advertising expenditure for that period.

Recognising the massive increases in online video consumption, and the resultant interest by advertisers in associating their brands with online video content, industry bodies, agencies, publishers and networks are trying to make it easier to navigate through the planning and buying process for online video.

The US IAB has released VAST - "VAST 2.0", an update to the Digital Video Ad Serving Template that it created in July 2008 to standardize the communication protocol between video players and servers.

Here at home, IAB Australia has drafted online video advertising guidelines to standardise video ad formats, sizes, placements, creative submission guidelines and additional best practice recommendations.

The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association – AIMIA, has also established the Video Industry Group, or VIG to look at research into consumer engagement with online video content and advertising, online video measurement and also best practices regarding both content and advertising.

Of course, what's driving all of this is the consumer. Some 20 hours of video content is being uploaded every minute to Youtube which is now also the second most popular search engine globally.

Free to air TV networks are now streaming some of their broadcast content online, sometimes live, as "catchup TV" not only becomes an everyday phrase but is also now measured in Australia by OzTam.

There is an explosion in the consumption of online content wirelessly as more people access more content more often form their laptops wirelessly and their smartphones, with 4G already in the works.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas one commentator declared the buzz around e-readers will be muted by the next generation that allow access to video content, in colour. Apple's upcoming product launch, yet to be officially confirmed but thought to be the launch of their new itablet which will feature access to colour video content, will likely be another 'game changer'.

One thing we can be certain of in 2010 is that online video content and advertising will continue to grow dramatically, most likely outpacing all other media and advertising growth both globally and here in Australia.

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