Video Essentials

Marketers See Opportunities in VR and 360-Degree Videos

AOL is declaring 2017 the year of virtual reality (VR). After conducting a study, it found 68 percent of consumers watch a VR video at least once a week. Advertisers eager to stay ahead of the curve have been quick to exploit VR’s potential: 70 percent say there’s a place for VR in the digital marketplace. Over half are already on board: 55 percent of advertisers now purchase VR and plan to do so over the following year.

The numbers come from a study AOL conducted with U.S. consumers, advertisers, and publishers.

AOL asked people how they watched VR, and learned 28 percent do so on smartphones. It then asked what they wanted to see in VR, with entertainment (43 percent), travel (43 percent), and science (31 percent) the most common answers. Also, 31 percent of consumers said they’ll watch more VR this year than they did last  year.

The survey also found bullishness on 360-degree videos, with 52 percent of consumers watching them once a week or more, and 49 percent of that group watching on phones.

The growth in new video formats has advertisers and publishers seeing green: 62 percent say 360 will be the top revenue driver among new video formats, which 39 percent saying live video will be. They beat out competing new formats vertical video, augmented reality, and outstream ads. Publishers especially love the fact that new formats give them new inventory to sell.

“Digital video is dominating consumers’ screens and marketers’ budgets with no signs of slowing down,” an AOL blog post says. “74 percent of advertisers and publishers agree that it is the future of advertising. But 61 percent of them also believe that ‘there are still too many barriers in creating and implementing a viable digital video strategy.’ The solutions to these barriers start here, with research that reveals the trends and truths driving the marketplace and that points to where the industry needs to look next to make the most of the medium.”

This year 83 percent of advertisers will increase their video ad spend, the report finds, and that’s higher than for any other type of media. It’s a great time to be in digital video.


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