Explosive growth in online video is changing how consumers interact on the web, and digital publishers are finding new ways to adapt.
In a recent interview, Mark Zuckerberg said video now accounts for nearly half of the time users spend on the Facebook platform. On-demand video is growing faster than content in Facebook’s News Feed, to the point where the company is now reportedly building a number of new video monetization tools for content creators. Over on Instagram, Reels has become the “largest contributor to engagement growth.” With more than 3.5 billion monthly active people using the Facebook network, it’s hard to argue with the company’s strategy to embrace video in 2021.
Over at YouTube, an incredible $7 billion in advertising revenue can be attributed to increased consumer adoption of online video. The growth in online video in 2021 is turning YouTube into a legitimate competitor to paid services like cable television. More than 120 million people watched YouTube on a television in July 2021, up from 100 million per month in 2020.
According to Pew Research, 52% of Americans say they prefer to get their news on digital platforms, while just over one-third (35%) say they prefer television. Seven percent and 5%, respectively, say they prefer to get their news on the radio or print.
Unsurprisingly, TikTok is also benefiting from the growth in online video this year. The short video platform blew past 15 billion daily views globally in 2021, growing 131% compared to the last quarter.
Digital publishers in nearly every niche are finding that online videos are closely tied to website growth. As traffic to platforms like YouTube increases, and video becomes the majority of engagement across online news and magazine websites, publishers will have to continue focusing on the medium if they want to keep pace.
Biggest Opportunities for Growth in Online Video
Late adopters still have the ability to succeed in online video. While most digital publishers start by posting content to YouTube, and then embedding videos on their websites, live video is actually one of the greatest opportunity areas in 2021. Digital publishers looking for opportunities for monetization should consider how they can take advantage of live video, either by posting video directly on their websites or on external social channels.
Online video advertising is expected to reach $63 billion in 2021, up 6% from pre-pandemic times. That growth has led social media and online video to eclipse traditional display advertising for many digital publishers.
Another opportunity that’s become available thanks to recent growth in online video is monetization via e-commerce. Combined with online video, performance-led e-commerce advertising is forecasted to reach $40 billion this year. The continued shift in consumer viewership means that more people who would otherwise be watching television news in the evenings might soon be tuning into their favorite digital publications to watch nightly recaps and updates on the latest local events.
Video commerce could play an even more important role for digital publishers if recent trends in television advertising continue. New reports show that 52% of consumers stop paying attention when ads come on the television, and that figure reaches 61% for people aged 55 and over. The more people watch digital streaming services, the lower their tolerance for served ads becomes.
It’s partly because of this that online video commerce is being talked about much more frequently in digital publishing circles. Social commerce is seen as the “next big thing” in online news monetization. BuzzFeed, for example, started experimenting with livestream shopping after seeing the success of companies in China during the pandemic. Technology giants like Google and Facebook are also investing heavily in video shopping to drive revenue growth in 2021.
The social commerce industry is expected to reach $50 billion by 2023, according to the research firm eMarketer. Publishers who can monetize their own audiences through a combination of advertising, commerce, and subscription sales can expect to see substantial gains in the coming years.
To learn more about all the latest revenue optimization strategies for digital publishers, reach out to Web Publisher PRO today.