Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

You Are Watching More Web Video Ads Than Ever

The fate of the TV ad may or may not be in jeopardy. But in Web videoland, ads are thriving: Distributors keep adding more of them, and they are bumping up their length, too. And the people who watch Web videos seem okay with that.

A new report from Web video ad manager Freewheel, which works with many of the biggest players in the business, lays out the story in three simple charts:

Video views are up, but ad views are climbing faster:
freewheel ad views 14

Video ad loads are increasing, particularly for TV-length viewing sessions:
freewheel q4 ad load

And the length of video ads is increasing, too, as 30-second ads become more common:
freewheel ad length q4

If you’re in the Web video business, that would all seem like good news. But Freewheel also provides a glass-half-empty take — if these trends continue, the ad guys are going to run out of space to buy, and the Web video boom that YouTube kicked off eight years ago will stall out: “If new opportunities for distribution and syndication aren’t created and more content isn’t made available online, advertising revenue potential will stall, as there is a limit to the number of video ads that can be placed in a single piece of content.”


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik