With Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform Instagram and privately held image messaging application Snapchat experimenting with longer video ads, digital savvy brands are increasingly shifting their advertising budget away from TV and straight into online video advertising.
Snapchat began testing “swipe to view” video ads that extend beyond the typical 10-second time limit back in November, starting with game publisher Activision's Call of Duty franchise.
It didn’t take long for Instagram to follow suit. The service ran its first ever 60-second video ad, an extension of T-Mobile’s Super Bowl commercial starring Canadian rapper Drake, on February 3. Prior to this date, the maximum length for video ads on Instagram was 30 seconds.
Instagram continues to push the boundaries today as the company recently announced its decision to increase the video time limit to a full minute for all users, a move that “inches Instagram closer to YouTube territory” according to global digital media website Mashable.
The rise of online video ads has been statistically documented in a number of studies during the past few years. Back in January 2013, more consumers reported having a positive attitude towards ads in original streaming content (25%) than in traditional TV programming (22%) as part of a Starcom study. Two years later, a blistering 41 percent of respondents in a study by programmatic video advertising platform BrightRoll believed online video ads to be more effective than TV.
After surveying 120 US ad agencies, the same study also revealed an 88.6 percent increase in clients’ interest in video ads over the past three years, in a striking depiction of the shifting online vs. TV parameters. A 2014 report by technology and market research company Forrester even predicted spending on online advertising to overtake TV spending by 2016.
This being said, it has become evident that online video advertising boasts many advantages over traditional TV commercials, notably in terms of targeting. TV clearly no longer rules advertising as it did 30 years ago. But while many people believe it to have been completely dethroned by online, TV advertising has managed to survive against all odds, primarily driving on its age-old potential to reach the masses.
Online wins on all fronts, yet TV is by no means dead either, bearing in mind that what works for the small screen in terms of advertisement may not work for digital and vice versa, which somewhat neutralizes the competition between the two in some cases.
But with Instagram leading the way as one of the world's largest mobile ads platforms and Snapchat reportedly attracting enough big advertisers to compete with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it’s about time these two platforms begin to significantly reshape the future of online video advertising.