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Is online video part of your revenue strategy?

The average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online video in 2021, up from 84 minutes this year, according to marketing and ROI agency Zenith’s Online Video Forecasts 2019 report.

Zenith states that the amount of time people spend viewing online video has grown rapidly across the world, at an average rate of 32 per cent a year between 2013 and 2018, boosted by improvements in display sizes and quality of mobile devices, faster mobile data connections, and the spread of connected TV sets.

“The consumption of online video is growing rapidly, and the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional television this year,” said Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith. 

“This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure.”

Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting, Zenith

Zenith forecasts that advertising expenditure on online video will rise from US$45 billion in 2019 to US$61 billion by 2021, at an average rate of 18 per cent a year, compared to 10 per cent a year for internet advertising as a whole. 

The report categorises ‘online video’ as all video content viewed over an internet connection, including broadcaster-owned platforms, over-the-top subscription services like Netflix, video-sharing sites like YouTube, and videos viewed on social media.

“Online video has boosted the amount of time that consumers spend watching audio visual content and is amplifying advertisers’ ability to reach consumers with high-impact brand-building ads,” said Matt James, Global Brand President at Zenith. 

Types of online video advertising 

Zenith states that online video inventory is in high demand, and to meet the need, publishers have supplemented video ads that appear before, during or after video content with in-stream ads – video ads that pop up beside other content, such as text, images or social media posts – and out-stream or ‘in-read’ ads. 

The agency says that brands need to make clear distinctions between the way they use in-stream and out-stream ads. 

What are in-stream ads? 

In-stream ads reach consumers who are actively seeking to view video, and are leaning forward to pay attention to it. 

The quality of the video in which an ad is embedded plays a big role in determining how the viewer engages with and responds to the ad. Brands therefore need to ensure that their in-stream ads appear in content that supports their values.

What are out-stream ads? 

Out-stream ads reach consumers who are primarily interested in the content that the ads sit alongside, and who can quickly and easily scroll past them. These ads are commonly viewed with the sound off. 

Out-stream ads need to grab and hold attention with speed and interesting content that can be understood quickly and easily and, most crucially, add value through relevance – both for the audience and the business objective. 

Out-stream ads are difficult to evaluate using traditional viewability metrics, against which most will perform poorly; instead they should be judged on business metrics such as incremental brand or sales impact.

For more information on Zenith’s reports, visit

Written by Lyndsie Clark

Niche Publishing Network Founder and Editor Lyndsie Clark has over 10 years of niche publishing experience, working in a variety of roles spanning B2B editorial, sales, operations, events, BD, and management.


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