YouTube may be one of the most well-known video platforms among consumers and advertisers alike – but platforms like AOL and Yahoo are moving in, and they want a piece of that market, too.

According to a new report from eMarketer Inc., a market research firm, YouTube currently holds about 18.9 per cent of the digital video ad market in the U.S., and the platform’s net video ad revenues within the U.S. are set to reach about $1.13 billion by the end of 2014. (Video ad revenues only count ads that run on the site’s video clips, but they don’t include banner ads, search ads, or other ads elsewhere on the site. They also don’t count traffic and content acquisition costs).

Digital video ad spend in the U.S. for the next four years. (Image: eMarketer).
Digital video ad spend in the U.S. for the next four years. (Image: eMarketer).

That’s pretty on-track with how the rest of the video ad market is performing, but YouTube probably won’t be able to increase its market share in the next few years. That’s because while there are some good points about YouTube, like its channels for gaming, beauty, and other niche topics, there are a few features of the platform that just aren’t as enticing to marketers.

For one thing, its video ad placements aren’t always consistent. Plus, YouTube typically delivers very short, quick videos, not providing marketers with enough time to include ads or to attract users with content about their brands.

That leaves some more room for competitors like AOL and Yahoo, which deliver full-length shows, shorts, and other high quality content. By putting display ads next to premium video content, sites like AOL are going to see some uptake, with eMarketer predicting the site’s display ad revenues to grow by almost 20 per cent this year.

Still, display ads aside, marketers are set to spend more on digital video ads than ever. In the U.S., video spend is expected to rise 56 per cent, up to almost $6 billion this year.

How much Canadian marketers will spend on digital video ads, up until 2018. (Image: eMarketer).
How much Canadian marketers will spend on digital video ads, up until 2018. (Image: eMarketer).

Within Canada, digital video spend is a little slower, with marketers only spending about $255 million on digital video ads this year, or about seven per cent of their total marketing budget. Rather, 44 per cent of ad spend in Canada goes to search ads, while 39.4 per cent is slotted for display.

How marketers are spending their budgets in Canada. (Image: eMarketer).
How marketers are spending their budgets in Canada. (Image: eMarketer).

Still, while video ad spend is set to rise in both Canada and the U.S. over the next few years, eMarketer still points to the growth of services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Those are gaining in popularity, but there isn’t much advertisers can do there to reach viewers. And then of course, ad spending is still heavily concentrated around TV, with $68.5 billion earmarked for TV ad spots – more than 10 times the ad spend on TV than on digital video ads.

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