Over two thirds (68%) of advertisers agree original digital video programming may become “as important as original TV programming” within the next three years.

That’s according to a US study of 360 marketing and media buying professionals released by IAB, finding that ad spend on digital-only video content has grown by 114% since 2014.

Experts believe the space will keep growing while TV spend levels are expected to remain constant.

Online video boom

Video has come to constitute a substantial chunk of the digital ad investment, with its growth driven by a surge in mobile as a platform to consume videos content. Accounting for 46% of all video plays in Q4 last year, tablet and smartphone video consumption has grown 170% since 2013, which has been mainly driven by millennials, reports Ooyla.

The average spend on digital video represents an 85% rise from two years ago, amounting to over $10 million annually. Nearly two thirds of respondents expect digital/online and mobile video investment to soar, at 63% and 62% respectively.

At the same time, 51% of those asked predict the numbers will stay the same for TV.

Bridging the gap

As buyers purchase more digital video to reach target audiences and deliver ROI, the gap between video and TV programming is expected to close.

Cross-platform spending is also bearing fruit for marketers, with the combination of online video and TV seeing continued growth too.

TV-primary buyers value the “targeting capabilities“ of this option, planning to increase their cross-platform budget as its potential ROI is realised.

The research seems to have quelled concerns over digital videos’ teething issues, such as transparency, reporting accuracy and enclosed buying environments, as there’s a general optimism for further investment over the next 12 months for both digital and mobile video.