Webcasters cashing in on webcast ads: survey

New York: Webcasters have embraced webcast advertising as a revenue-generating business model for the future - with an overwhelming 85 per cent having sold at least one webcast advertising buy in the past year - according to a new survey by Arbitron Webcast Services, a division of Arbitron Inc.

The survey - Webcasters Speak Out - released at the Webcast Advertising Today Conference, hosted by Arbitron Webcast Services and The Digital Media Association (DiMA), revealed that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of webcasters have been called by agencies placing webcast ads.

"In a study we conducted last year, nearly half of the agencies said they had never been approached by webcasters trying to sell advertising," said Bill Rose, general manager and vice president, Arbitron Webcast Services. "Our latest study shows how much has changed in the last 12 months. The overwhelming majority of webcasters are actively selling advertising today. Webcasters agreed that the medium's greatest strength is its ability to deliver a targeted message."

More than half (51 per cent) of webcasters said that advertisers should run webcast ads to target an attractive audience. Forty-five percent of webcasters sell a combination of webcast ads, sponsorships, in-stream ads and gateway ads. A majority (80 per cent) has sold in-stream ads - ads within the streamed content.

A high percentage of webcast ad dollars come from direct advertisers (42 per cent) with one-third from interactive agencies and only one-quarter (25 per cent) from traditional agencies. Two-thirds of webcast advertising is sold to "brick and mortar" companies and slightly more than one-third (34 per cent) to "dot com" companies. Automotive companies are the number one target for webcast advertising sales, followed by entertainment (24 per cent), music (20 per cent), "dot com" companies (15 percent) and alcoholic beverage companies (13 per cent).

"Like any new advertising medium we still have some work to do," said Rose. "Webcasters say that the biggest obstacles to growth are the need for credible third-party metrics and the need to continually educate advertisers and agencies about the value of webcast advertising."

Almost one-third (30 per cent) of webcasters feel that the lack of metrics is the biggest obstacle to selling advertising, followed by advertiser awareness and interest (24 per cent), lack of coherent sales message (23 per cent) and technology issues (10 per cent).

The findings reported are based on a February-April survey. The survey, by Arbitron Webcast Services, consisted of 62 interviews with senior executives at Internet-only webcasters, representative firms, content delivery networks, technology companies and broadcasters.

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