MediaPost: A Note To The Video Advertising Industry - Take Control Of Your Destiny

By Vijay Rao, Sep 7, 2011

Each May, the television Upfront rolls around -- the cue for the online video industry to confidently proclaim that this is the year savvy advertisers finally see the light of day, break the shackles of tradition, push back on the dictatorial terms of the TV networks and liberate themselves by moving monies into online video.

This year, of all years, was supposed to be special, with past rejections forgotten. With TV ratings supply down, advertisers were greeted with the prospect of double-digit CPM hikes. Throw in increased DVR/VOD viewership (does anyone watch commercials anymore?) and audience migration to three-screen devices, and surely 2011 was going to be different. Heck, even Yahoo made a bold prediction about going after Upfront monies.

Yet every September, just like Bill Murray's character in "Groundhog Day," we in the video biz wake to the realization that nothing has changed for the rank and file. Sure, dollars have migrated to Hulu and the network's O&O sites. But it's more akin to switching allegiance from Saks to Bloomingdale's in the spirit of economizing, than representing a monumental shift in video approach. So, much like Murray's character, perhaps it's time for the video ad industry to self-reflect and conduct an honest appraisal of who we are and where we're going.

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