Original Digital Video on Track to Be as Important as TV, Say Marketers & Agencies in New Study From IAB

Research Shows Advertisers Planning to Attend Digital Content NewFronts Expect to Allocate Over a Third of Their Digital Video Budget As a Result of the 2014 Event

NEW YORK – The vast majority of brand marketers and advertising agency executives expect original digital video programming to become as important to their businesses as television advertising within the next three to five years, with the bulk of that increased internet spending migrating from television budgets, according to a survey released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

“This survey provides invaluable insight into advertisers’ evolving attitudes toward digital video programming and shows that the NewFronts is playing an integral part in fueling the movement of ad dollars to the medium”

The publication of the study, which aims to track advertiser attitudes toward the evolving medium of digital video, coincides with the start of the Digital Content NewFronts, the annual upfront marketplace for the unveiling of and sale of advertising opportunities within original digital video programming. The 2014 Digital Content NewFronts event, which is managed by the IAB, will feature presentations by 22 of the largest and most important digital video and advertising companies during the next 10 days.

The survey of 297 buy-side executives conducted by the research firm Advertiser Perceptions, uncovered a prevailing optimism around digital video, with nearly two-thirds of advertisers (65%) anticipating that they will spend more on digital video advertising in the next year than they did in 2013. This comes in contrast to TV advertising, with two-thirds of respondents saying that they will help pay for their digital video increases by shifting funds from television. Additionally, almost half (48%) of respondents think the increase in their digital video spend will be backed in part by an overall expansion in ad budgets.

Expectations are particularly high for original content. Executives surveyed said they plan to nearly spend half (48%) of their internet video budget on “made for digital” video programming in 2014, up from 44 percent in 2012. Three out of four advertisers (75%) foresee original digital programming starting to become as important as TV programming within the next three to five years.

However, advertisers also stated that digital content providers must support this increased spending by demonstrating digital’s effectiveness in sales and branding while providing digital metrics consistent with TV.

The Digital Content NewFronts, which were founded as a marketplace in 2012 by global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi and the publishers AOL, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft and Yahoo, have themselves had a significant impact on the market’s positive perceptions of original digital video content, according to the Advertiser Perceptions study. Ninety percent of advertisers are already aware of the Digital Content NewFronts, with 80 percent of those aware planning to attend this year. This would mark a 145 percent increase in attendance over 2012. An overwhelming majority (90%) of advertisers who attended the 2013 Digital Content NewFronts said that their participation influenced them to spend more money on original digital programming or increase their overall 2014 budgets.

“There is a clear need for a showcase and an upfront advertising buying opportunity for original digital video content,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “The medium is already generating hit shows and cultural buzz, so it’s unsurprising that – as the study shows – advertiser budgets are following the eyeballs.”

“This survey provides invaluable insight into advertisers’ evolving attitudes toward digital video programming and shows that the NewFronts is playing an integral part in fueling the movement of ad dollars to the medium,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB. “The buy-side is not only foreseeing strong spending at the 2014 NewFronts, but is also recognizing the significant effect it has on their perceptions and budget decisions long after the last presentation is over.”

To download the “Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study,” please visit iab.net/newfronts.

To download the NewFronts App please visit iab.net/newfronts/mobileapp.


The research was conducted by Advertiser Perceptions, which surveyed 297 marketer and agency executives online from April 1 – 16, 2014. To qualify, these executives needed to be involved in digital video or TV advertising decision-making at a company responsible for $1M+ total ad spend in 2014. Nearly half of the participants were senior level (VP+ job title).

About the IAB

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.