Lack of video inventory and concerns about quality the main constraints as video growth surges

L:R Adapt.TV's Mitch Waters, GroupM's John Miskelly, News's Cameron King, Cadreon's Jessica White and IAB's Alice Manners.

L:R Adapt.TV’s Mitch Waters, GroupM’s John Miskelly, News’s Cameron King, Cadreon’s Jessica White and IAB’s Alice Manners.

The ongoing lack of premium inventory and concerns about issues like ad fraud and verification are major factors constraining the growth of video in Australia, the industry has been warned.

Speaking at today’s launch of the second annual State of the Video Industry Report, John Miskelly GroupM’s head of digital, told the audience: “We have to be singularly focused on increasing the number of streams that is the absolute number one constraint on our market.”

The declaration comes at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report found that there were still major shortages on video inventory, particularly with Australian content and long form content, while two third of media buyers surveyed also expressed concerns about quality control on video around the issues of viewability, ad verification and fraud.

In launching this year’s report, director of research at the IAB Gai Le Roy noted that inventory levels have risen 42 percent on the last year and the total spend in the digital video ad market was now worth $196m, up 76 per cent, there were still significant constraints on growth in Australia.

Source: IAB

Source: IAB

“Scarcity it still a huge issue,” said Le Roy. “If we have a look at where the pressure is coming from – it is less in short form content but long form is the hottest ticket in town and Australian inventory is still in demand. Really it is across the board.

“But that long form content from a buyer’s point of view is a particular pain point and a great opportunity – the demand is there and the yields are great.”

On the issues of ad fraud, verification, viewability and dealing with ad fraud were still major challenges, according to Le Roy.

Source: IAB

Source: IAB

“People tend to lump these issues in a bucket,” she said. “These numbers look as if people think these issues are a concern and not surprisingly the buyers are most concerned about this.

“One thing that is a concern is that only a small percentage of respondents (20 per cent) feel they are up to speed or confident on the technology solutions (to combat these issues) that are out there at the moment.

“Some of that is a timing issue and some of it is a technology issue.”

The IAB’s analysis, done in conjunction with Adapt.TV, also looked at which sectors of the media the spend was coming from, with print and traditional free to air television the main victims of the shift to digital video.

Source: IAB

Source: IAB

“This is not to say all of their budgets is moving across but some of it is definitely shuffling over,” said Le Roy.

“The big change is in the TV budget and the research showed a lot of growth in cross screen planning so it makes sense that money is moving around while people work out what works best.”

Following the launch of the report, a panel including Adapt.TV’s Mitchell Waters, GroupM’s Miskelly, News Corp’s Cameron King and Cadreon’s Jessica White, debated some of the findings.

Miskelly speculated that the data showing the push away from TV might be driven more by misattribution within media agencies that an actual shifting of ad dollars.

“I don’t think we should be surprised at the growth in video,” he said. “We shouldn’t be surprised at Australia being ahead of the curve when it comes to investment in digital channels.

“I think the free to air data was quite interesting and I wonder if that’s a case of misattribution rather than reality. (The decline in FTA) equates to $20m and if you assume it all went to video then there is still a gap there.

“People start with the intention of moving from free to air but a lot of it still comes from print.”

News Corp’s head of commercial platforms and products was asked about the challenges of scarcity and noted that: “Some publishers, and we’re not one of them, might argue that this is not a problem.”

“Demand and supply balances the business and some on the supply side might be interested in retaining that (shortage) for as long as possible.”

Nic Christensen

Read the full IAB Australia State of the video industry report here. 


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