DVD sales horror is a wake-up call for online video

Sales of movie DVDs are expected to fall for the first time ever this year, pointing to the rise of online video. After all, there are only so many hours in the day. Marketers who are not already testing online video ads need to get aboard. More than half of YouTube users, for example, are in the attractive 35-64 demo — online video is no longer just for kids.

Sony tells Forbes that it is jumping in feet first, but even they find the formats confusing. Sony’s Sean Carey sums up the trouble:

There is no consistency around the ad units today. So when an advertiser buys an ad on YouTube, they get an overlay, when they buy an ad on MySpace, it’s an eight-second pre-roll, when they buy an ad on Crackle, it may be a sponsorship that includes some pieces of all of that. And it’s difficult for an advertiser to get a handle on what the delivery is in that sort of environment–not only what the delivery is but how to mass the creative to all those different ad opportunities.

Pre-rolls, overlays, pop-up videos in banners … the best way to sort this out is to take 5% of your ad budget, set up a testing plan, and start using online video to pull consumers to your sites. We’ve found careful use of behavioral targeted ads with video can jack up click-through rates 5 times higher than national banner averages. The future is coming. Don’t be scared.

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