Online video marketing is maturing in the UK, and as a result we’re seeing a shift away from traditional pre-roll ad formats towards more “strategic” and varied options.

Analysing 100 key video buyers from top 30 London media agencies, programmatic advertising company Collective found that while Broadcaster Video on Demand (VOD) still takes the lion’s share of video ad budgets, display, social channels and other niche providers are increasingly siphoning spend away from the channel.  

Collective identified an 8% year-on-year drop in total bookings valued over £100,000 for VOD ad campaigns – down to just 13% of total bookings this year – while there’s been a rise in those valued between £25,000 – 50,000, up from 22% in 2015 to 29% this year.

Buying trends

As budgets are changing, so are trends in buying. Last year, 56% of respondents bought into both video and display, but the numbers this year have jumped to 73%. At the same time, TV and video ad figures have decreased from 38% to 26% since last year.

“Video budgets are increasingly being allocated from TV to digital teams. We have seen a shift in the market since launching both our native and YouTube video products in the last year,” commented Collective’s commercial director, Simon Stone.  

“There has also been a huge increase in the number of display campaigns that include video assets.”   

However, despite the increased interest in alternative video solutions, the industry is still “heavily reliant” on TV video content, according to the report. In fact, 54% of respondents said that they used made-for-digital creative in less than a quarter of their campaigns.

The research has also reported that programmatic hasn’t been living up to the hype; 70% respondents invested more than a quarter (25%) of their budgets into programmatic videos, as compared to 60% in 2015.

Similar to the stats of last year, the majority of buyers (69%) invest less than half their budgets into programmatic video.

Overcoming hurdles

When it comes to measuring campaigns, there’s also been a change in attitudes over what’s an interpretation of successful advertising.

Incremental reach, what’s been a central benchmark for video, is now considered important by just 14%, compared to 25% in 2015, while view-through rate (VTR) has risen from 35% in 2015 to 52% in 2016.

While confidence in the safety and accountability of video advertising has grown, with issues such as brand safety, viewability and transparency playing a lesser role in reduced spend, there are still some obstacles to overcome.

Major issues now include frequency between providers (21%), a lack of premium inventory for pre-roll (21%) and the ability to prove effectiveness (27%), all of which need progress made on in order to secure increased budget going forward.