Fueled by a new commitment from content owners, broadcasters and operators – and an easing of data caps — the Australian online video market is booming, with 83% of Australian Internet users 15-65 years old saying they watch online video, an increase of nearly two-thirds since 2012.
And, those 11.6 million viewers are becoming a more mobile audience, with new research showing that more than half watch online video on a smartphone at least monthly, up 50% in the past year. Tablet viewing has grown even more rapidly, said the research, up 62% in the past year from 29% of the audience to 47%.
Crucial to industry development, says the research, from Frost & Sullivan, is that brands are noticing and are spending money in the space. The online video advertising market is predicted to reach $780 million in 2019, an increase of 294% from $198 million in 2014.
Online video advertising is growing faster than all other major online general advertising segments, including online display advertising. For the 12 months to June 2014, the online video advertising market grew by 60%, compared to 55% in the year prior.
Spending on mobile video ads has increased strongly over the past 12 months; a trend that’s expected to continue over the next few years.
Video ad pricing for premium inventory, especially long form content, has increased significantly because of a scarcity of video ad spots.
But , non-premium ad rates are declining due to growing over-supply of ad spots in the market.
As brands and agencies discover the value of online video, the market is moving toward a complete solution for buying video across traditional TV broadcasting and online video channels, with the video ad exchange ecosystem evolving and eliminating the distinction between the traditional roles of a video ad platform provider and a video ad network.
The proportion of online video ads traded programmatically in Australia as a proportion of the total ads traded has increased strongly during the last 12 months. However, the majority of this trading is for non-premium inventory. Increasingly, ad agencies and brands are placing their online video inventory directly through ad exchanges, and some are building their own trading desks.
Meanwhile, the type of content being watched also is evolving and broad.
Some 21% of viewers say they watch news most days, with 24% saying they watch it at least once a month on average.
Sports also has become increasingly important to viewers, said the study.
Also growing: Longer form content. The study said long-form of all types, including premium content such as movies or TV shows, also is up.
“Viewing patterns are being aided by improving data allowances from Internet service providers,” said Phil Harpur, senior research manager, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, along with a greater range of content availability from subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) providers.
With Netflix hovering on the horizon (a 2015 launch is anticipated), uptake of OTT and SVOD services native to Australia has been modest. But, more local entries, like Foxtel Go and Foxtel Presto, Quickflix and the just-launched NEON service from Sky New Zealand, are stirring up the market.
“Online video content is now a core part of the strategy of many online publishers from both a content and advertising perspective,” Harpur said. “Local online news sites are incorporating more online video content and those produced by online publishers such as Fairfax Media and Yahoo!7 continues to evolve.”
But, he said, a lack of locally generated content is a key reason Australians view the majority of popular video content like music, gaming, sports, and movies from overseas websites.