Will Video Dominate Digital Advertising in 2024?

Natalie Romankina, CEO of AdPlayer.Pro, highlights the resilience of video advertising in a maturing advertising market.

One thing is clear, the global online advertising market is gradually maturing. Not only will it be growing at a relatively slower pace in 2024 and the years ahead, but the media price inflation will continue putting extra pressure on the overall growth.

On the bright side, however, if there’s a niche that will be keeping its top positions, it will be video, with the 6%+ YoY growth forecasted for 2024 (per Statista), and with outstream video advertising, SaaS video player tech, CTV and FAST TV projected to dominate the news in 2024.

Outstream to Get Back on Top in the Editorial Niche

In the editorial segment, outstream video ads are likely to regain their prominent role in 2024. 

Namely, this in many ways is affected by the already growing brands’ interest in the “accompanied content” outstream placements, which drive high viewability, yet are being available at lower CPMs, than instream ads, as well as the Sticky video placements. 

The latter, in particular, have proven effective in a broad range of their variations, demonstrating exceptional VTR rates and audience engagement in the editorial content environment, while enabling extra flexibility in terms of the ad creative display. 

According to the 2023 AdPlayer.Pro survey, for instance, over 80% of digital businesses have seen a boost in video ad efficiency, mixing the so-called “Classic Sticky” (when the player with video ad content expands in between the paragraphs, then sticks to the visible screen area outside the text upon the page scroll), and Reverse Sticky video ads, accordingly.

Greater Focus on SaaS Video Player Tech 

From the technical perspective, several aspects are to dominate the digital video advertising news:

  • AI-powered solutions, specifically used to streamline the production of highly-personalised video ad creatives faster than ever before, and 
  • Video player SaaS tech, which should meet the continuously changing businesses’ needs. 

In many ways fueled by the growing interest towards Sticky video, in 2024 digital businesses will likely be looking for HTML5 video players, which support a broad range of outstream formats (and Sticky ad variations, in particular). 

Another equally paramount functionality refers to the supported ad serving functionality, i.e. the fast & smooth integration of video header bidding partners. Like it or not, programmatic video is still pioneering the market (given the heavily limited volume of premium direct offers), and as it turns out, the implementation of header bidding (usually with prebid.js support) helps to achieve the more ambitious revenue goals, if compared to the conventional waterfalling practices of oRTB, (per the AdPlayer.Pro platform data). 

The trick is, implementing oRTB usually results in cheaper rates for premium publishers’ inventory, while often leaving brands to serve their ads in non-premium environments, unless they’re willing to overpay for getting the top-1 bid in the waterfall. At the same time, video header bidding ensures higher bidding transparency with minimum negative effects on the page load, in case the video player script is implemented properly. 

In this respect, the selection of a video player may vary from an all-in-one suite, which includes everything from the core technology to the entire video production software kit, to the more focused, i.e. cleaner SaaS tech, which ensures a customer gets the actual streaming technology and instream/outstream ad serving features without the extra Premium capabilities, yet at the lower fee. 

While the all-in-one solutions will remain a preferable choice for large corporations, with greater budgets and little time/resources to dive deeper into the tech side, the smaller, yet equally feature-rich SaaS video ad tech should and will gain more limelight in the mid-size market segments across various verticals, due to their key competitive advantages being flexibility, custom feature development and, certainly, price. 

CTV & AVOD/FAST Ads to Remain Ahead in the Game

CTV will likely remain the fastest-growing channel in 2024, with an impressive market increase of ~30% (per Dentsu). The key reasons for such optimism primarily lie in brands’ access to premium video inventory in the brand-safe environment, as well as the expected availability of the more precise co-viewing and engagement metrics measurement, along with their better understanding of actual eCPM values.

Quite predictably, the overall penetration of ad-supported streaming services is continuously surging, too, up to 41% in Q3 2023 only in the U.S. (per MediaPost). In this respect, the FAST TV niche will keep its high-ranking positions, much due to its long-proven customer appeal, i.e. providing free access to media content beyond the mere entertainment sector, but also the lifestyle and news segments, particularly on the local scale in 2023. 

Unlike in the case with the premium CTV inventory, however, brands & agencies need to pay closer attention (and apply stricter filtering techniques) to the brand safety aspect of their programmatically purchased FAST TV traffic.