Video, shmideo!  That’s all anyone ever talks about these days when it comes to online advertising (well, that and mobile ads).  What’s the big deal with video, you ask?  Well gather ‘round, contrarians, and let me tell you a tale of effectiveness.

First, let’s look at the big picture.  In terms of time spent with media on a daily basis, people are now spending more time online than with any other form of media – five hours and 46 minutes per day online versus four hours and 28 minutes per day for the next closest medium, TV.

Time Spent Online 

Mobile is the driving factor behind the growth in time spent online.  You will note in the chart above that of the time spent online each day, almost 50 percent is now spent on mobile devices.  This is a growth of 356 percent since 2011.

While it is growing fast, online video has yet to supplant television as the top medium for video viewing.  People currently spend four-and-a-half hours watching video content on their TVs versus almost an hour online each day.  So, online video is not that big of a deal after all, right?  No!  It is growing fast.  Time spent with online video was only 15 minutes a day three years ago.  That is a growth of 366 percent.

Time Spent Video

Of that 55 minutes spent with video each day, 33 minutes (or 60 percent) are spent watching mobile video.  As prices drop on tablets and “phablets” (larger smartphones) – and they are more prevalent among consumers – more people will have access to a higher-quality video experience via mobile, and time spent with video will only increase.

Time Spent Mobile vs. Desktop 

Marketers are now starting to notice these consumer video usage trends. Video ad spending grew by 40 percent in 2014 versus 2013 to just under $6 billion.  It is projected to grow by 208 percent, to $12.3 billion, by the end of 2018.

Video Ad Spend

So, consumers are now viewing videos online more than ever and marketers are starting to spend their dollars in online video.  But what is the real reason to use online video ads?  Simply put, they provide greater impact.  First, they provide the dynamic impact of a 15-second commercial versus a static banner ad on the consumer’s screen.  Second, video ads provide a greater presence on both desktop and mobile screens versus banner ads on desktop and mobile.  Note the example of a mobile video ad versus a banner ad below.  The video ad is much more intrusive as it takes over the entire screen of the device.

Banner ad vs. Video

We at CJRW have been using video ads for our Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism client since 2008 with much success.  The video ads have been quite effective versus banner ads.  In terms of driving visits to, video ads are three times more effective than banner ads and are 40 percent more cost-efficient in doing so.  We also buy these video ads primarily on a cost-per-completed view basis.  This means that we only pay when 100 percent of the video ad has played and the consumer has continued on to their video content.  On average, approximately 80 percent of consumers view the Arkansas video ads in their entirety.

So, while online video is still a growing medium, make sure you are placing your advertising dollars there in order to provide increased creative impact and realize greater cost-efficiencies.