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VideoNuze Summit Reflects Changes in Online Video Ad Market

The VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit, a one-day conference, returned to New York City on Tuesday, presenting an impressive array of thought leaders in a briskly moving series of discussions.

The summit has become a yearly benchmark of where the evolving online video advertising market is going. Summit organizer and VideoNuze editor and publisher Will Richmond said that much of the growth is in mobile and set-top advertising:

"Online video advertising has continued to explode in the last year. One big change is the embrace of new devices, particularly the iPad, which has been a real game-changer. This trend will only accelerate, particularly as connected devices like Xbox, Roku, Smart TVs and others proliferate," said Richmond.

Several sessions addressed the changing set-top and mobile markets. Advertisers see slightly higher completion rates on set-top box ads, noted Ed Haslam, senior vice president of marketing for YuMe, thanks to their full-screen takeover. He also noted that viewers are becoming more comfortable with living room devices.

"What consumers are starting to do on these devices is explore," said Haslam. He noted the value in placing ads next to set-top search results and detailed a Toyota campaign that created a branded app for connected TVs.

Consumers are largely using their iPads in their living rooms, which Haslam calls the most fragmented place in the house, due to multiple demands on the viewer.

"Consumer attention is all over the place today," said Haslam.

As more premium video moves online, advertising is following. The current usual system of one ad per break will soon be a thing of the past.

"Ad loads are going to move to full broadcast ad loads because it makes sense," noted Marc DeBevoise, senior vice president and general manager for CBS Interactive.

The summit alternated between group discussions and one-person case histories that offered more depth. Joe Feczko, senior vice president of marketing innovation and integration at Macy's, told how the retail giant is keeping its image fresh by using online video as a creative canvas for branding. Shoppers can now scan in-store QR codes to see videos offering tips, training, and how-to information. The results have been "wildly popular with our customers," said Feczko.

Macy's has also sponsored an NBC reality show ("Fashion Star") and partnered with Alloy on a web series ("Wendy").

Print's move into online video was detailed in a talk with Alisa Bowen, general manager of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, who covered the paper's multi-platform efforts. It creates 4 hours of content a day, which is available on 20 platforms. Bowen says her team gives the audience and advertisers a consistent experience, while taking advantage of what's unique about each platform.

"It was about making the Wall Street Journal available wherever the audience is," said Bowen.

In all, the summit combined breadth and depth in a tightly-packed day that was able to keep its focus while encompassing a variety of topics. And that doesn't even touch on all the networking taking place in the reception area, which was likely the most valuable takeaway for many attendees.

"This year's Summit was streamlined and focused on the most critical issues facing the ecosystem," said Richmond. "Attendees received hard data and insights that improve their decision-making."

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