Social Video is the Fastest-growing Ad Format Online

Video is the fastest-growing ad format online, and social sharing capabilities are helping that growth by allowing users to act as curators and promoters, passing appealing videos to a larger and larger audience of network connections.

eMarketer estimates US advertisers will spend $3.1 billion this year on video ads, up from $2 billion in 2011. By 2016, $9.3 billion in online ad spending will go toward video.

According to data released in April from social video measurement firm Visible Measures, views of social video ads served to English-speaking audiences increased to almost 1.33 billion in Q1 of this year, a 78% rise over Q4 2011.

The measurement company noted that Q1 is typically a busy time of year for video ads shared socially, as many internet users turn online to find—and spread the word about—their favorite Super Bowl commercials. But this year’s Q1 results were also 72% better than the same period in 2011, indicating a real rise in social video ad viewership.

Social Video Ad Views Worldwide, Q1 2011-Q1 2012 (millions)

Social Video Ad Views for Select Industries Worldwide, Q1 2012 (millions)

The automotive industry, a big spender on offline commercials (including those Super Bowl ads), saw the most social video views during the first part of this year, followed by those video ads related to community and activism at a distant second.

Visible Measures included data from social video ads served over its network to an English-speaking audience, and all views were user-initiated.

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