Online Video Ad Panel Talks Recession and Standardization

By March 03, 2009

Online video advertising was the subject of a panel discussion last week at Jefferies 5th Annual Internet and Media Conference in New York discussed strategies. The key online video challenge remains standardization, according to experts. "The largest brands are looking for some degree of standardization," said Matt Wasserlauf, CEO of online video network Broadband Enterprises to Mediapost on Thursday. Their technology services suite delivers ads and content including branding and product placement. Advertisers are looking for standardization in basic formatting, ad placement, but further to price manage their video online: Christine Watkins, president and CEO of Long Island based-Invision, ad sales and inventory management vendor for cable networks.

Watkins was the only panelist on Wednesday to predict the rate of online advertising growth, or this year's decline. Major publishers and agencies have not yet made the investments in online video monetization infrastructures, she says.

This year an emphasis will be placed on convergence between television and online, according to Jamie Harper, CFO at video streaming and technology services provider Move Networks. These new models will still have the biggest hurdle of standardization.

Dramatic restructuring and dramatic consolidation are to be expected in today's market, says Frederick Singer, CEO of Web video company Grab Networks. We are seeing much of the same behavior as we did in the "doom-and-gloom period" of 2001.

Singer says the recession is not the fundamental issue, but rather the shift in focus from TV to the Web. To back this claim up, Doug Stevenson, co-founder and CEO of "in-text" ad provider Vibrant Media, quotes a recent study that indicates seventy percent of consumers would rather give up their television than their computer.

Standardization in this young medium could stabilize it enough so that marketers will not panic. This panic would like to make use of information technologies that threaten privacy, Monday's Ad Age says.

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