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The Devolution of Online Video


Digital publishers have been trying to speak in broadcast language for years in an effort to try and reap part of the broadcast pie. In doing so we’ve fundamentally changed the formats and platforms that we’ve been delivering on, and not always for the better.


2015 was a great year for online video with global spends looking to increase by nearly 29% to a whopping $16.1bn. This is hardly surprising with more money moving from TV into digital but has this curtailed all the things that used to make online video digital as opposed to just video online?

Back in the infancy of online video we saw some dark practices, the most notable being things like auto-playing video (sometimes off screen), pop-ups (which weren’t just a video problem), and brand safety or “bad” non-premium placements. These all contributed to spooking advertisers and hampered the increase in spend we’re now finally seeing. Over the years the