Many sources point to the ubiquity of OLV; Cisco believe it will be C. 80% of all internet traffic by 2018. Looking at the headlines alone, marketers could be forgiven for thinking there is an abundance of quality inventory (that looks just like TV) waiting for them to buy.
That’s not quite the case. OLV takes many shapes and sizes & is delivered across a number of screens; not all of it is equal or commercial. When we strip out all of the stuff you can’t buy ads against (e.g. Netflix, iPlayer) or don’t want to (90% of YouTube, Porn) the landscape doesn’t seem that rich; especially when you think of all the other advertisers vying for the quality spots.
So how do we define OLV for an advertiser?
The old definition was easy. OLV had to be user initiated and run prior to a piece of video content. This meant 4OD and iTV Player worked well. We had question marks over audience but it looked like TV & it was safe. Autoplay video squeezed into MPUs were always at the other end of the spectrum. This is still true but ‘autoplay’ isn’t the dirty word it once was.
For many media is consumed mainly through a number of mobile feeds; skewing considerably for millennial audiences. A feed is a stream and the best digital advertising does not interrupt the flow.
This leads to a question: If media is different; should OLV have to look like TV? The answer is no; but it does need to fit the environment to hand.
Here’s a quick checklist for what I consider is / isn’t OLV.
- Autoplay video MPU is NOT OLV
- A user will be on the page to consume something other than the ad position and likely the autoplay ad won’t be visible on the screen. This is just squeezing advertising somewhere because a person happens to be there too.
- In Read article video is NOT OLV
- This is the 2015 video version of the pop up and will regarded as such in the future. A person will usually be reading a page; the content being consumed will be split in half and a piece of video will play. From my own experience the content often has little relevance to the context of the page and is really annoying
- Pre roll is OLV
- Needs no introduction. This is the most similar to TV and what most clients think they are buying when they buy OLV
- YouTube Skippable is OLV
- User is in control; native to its environment. Google has the scale to make these ads work and there are many targeting levers agencies can pull to reach the right people.
- Facebook News Feed video is OLV
- I don’t think it’s controversial to call Facebook the ultimate feed where people go to be entertained. Facebook have also launched the new gold standard for mobile video viewability. A person has to stop scrolling and watch for 3 seconds before the ad impression is counted. This is actually a long period of time. Attention! We’ve all read the headlines of FB taking on YouTube in a big way
That’s quite a long winded way of saying that OLV is video content appearing in a place where a consumer expects a video experience. This can be a pre-roll or an autoplay that’s only counted after a specific length of time.