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Study: advertisers increasingly look to original video content as the next frontier

Want to know where television is headed? Just follow the money. According to a survey released today by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a large majority of brand marketers and advertising executives expect original digital video content to become as important to their businesses as television content within the next three to five years.

The survey titled Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study, was implemented to track advertiser attitudes toward the evolving medium of digital video. To do so, the study polled 297 buy-side executives, uncovering what it called “a prevailing optimism around digital video.” The results were very telling about what advertisers consider as the next wave in programming.

Nearly two-thirds of advertisers (65 percent) surveyed anticipate they will spend more on digital video advertising in the next year than they did in 2013. In an increasingly shifting course, around 75 percent of advertisers polled envision original digital programming starting to become just as important as good old TV programming in a 3-5 year span. And 48 percent plan to spend nearly half of their Internet video budget on “made for digital” video programming this year alone.

The results aren’t exactly a mind-blowing surprise, as seemingly everyone is getting into original programming online, following a growing number of break-out hits like the Netflix originals, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. In the past couple of years, a throng of online companies have doubled down on creating their own original digital video programming, from stalwart streaming services like Amazon, Hulu, and Google-owned Youtube, to complete strangers to the game, like Yahoo

Perhaps just as telling about the future of online TV, the study found that about two-thirds of respondents say they will help pay for their digital video budget increases by shifting funds out of their standard television coffers. Additionally 48 percent think the increase in digital video spending will be backed in part by an overall expansion in advertising budgets. Money isn’t just being reallocated from the old format to the new – advertisers are, plain and simple, securing greater sums of money in preparation for this new direction.

Still, those who enjoy stepping away from the ad-saturated world of cable and satellite may be less than enthralled with the trend. With Net Neutrality in jeopardy, and ad-free video giant, Netflix, increasingly making cash deals with Internet Service Providers like Comcast and Verizon to secure efficient streaming speeds, new services following the Netflix model could be hard to come by. That could mean a void in competition to ad-supported services. Though this new push may outline more digital video options for customers in the near future, it also means advertisers are looking again to the Internet as a new (cash-generating) frontier. 

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