As the Q1 2021 online video advertising market results are in, it’s time to share forecasts on the key industry trends for Q3 and Q4 of 2021.

As far as the second quarter of 2021 is going, things are looking up across the digital advertising landscape. In the video ad niche, in particular, while the majority of analysts predicted its accelerated growth for this year, the current dynamics, obviously, are exceeding their expectations. 

Well, now that half of Q2 2021 is gone, it’s time to share perspectives on the state of online video advertising in H2 2021, and the major trends to watch out for, in particular.

Large M&As are driving the digital video ad industry boom

The number of large-scale acquisitions happening on the video ad market over the past months is absolutely impressive, including the purchase of Smart Adserver by Capital Croissance or Nexstar Inc. sale to Verve Group, just to name a few.

As stunning as it is, the recent M&A increase proves two points. 

First, the market has matured further. Second, it’s consolidating fast.

More importantly, this consolidation will continue, fueling the further innovation and evolution of video ad tech in H2 2021, particularly in the CTV segment.

CTV ad adoption is slowing down a bit, but its domination is here to stay

Just as the AdPlayer.Pro analysts forecasted, CTV advertising remains a solid industry trend, while programmatic CTV ads continue their rapid ascend.

Namely, according to eMarketer, the volume of ad spend in the niche only in the U.S. is expected to reach $18 000 000 000 by 2024.

In this respect, over 75% of buyers cite CTV’s ability to leverage first-party data as one of its key benefits (per IAB), while 60% of them also claim CTV provides a brand-safe environment for video ads.

However, as lucrative as the niche may seem, the experts admit remaining challenges, like the lack of co-viewing measurement or the comparatively higher CPMs, for instance, are slowing the platform adoption by the digital video ad industry.

As we expect, the market won’t undergo any significant changes in Q3-Q4 2021, as the niche-specific video ad tech improvements will hardly be introduced by industry pioneers  in the next few months.

Fight against “bad actors” in programmatic video advertising continues

Quite predictably, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the brand safety aspect in digital video advertising, both worsening existing issues, and bringing the new ones to the forefront.

And while the vaccine roll-out has somewhat improved the situation over the past months, e.g. mitigating buyers’ shadow blocklisting practices, for instance, the aftershock is still “palpable.”

That is, while top-tier video advertisers are still frequently finding their ads running on disinformation websites, and reputable publishers are occasionally displaying antivax or other scam ads, some of premium healthcare brands continue suffering from unintentional ads flagging.

What we should expect in Q3 – Q4 2021 is the further accumulation of efforts by all parties on the digital ad market to mitigate these negative effects, including:

  • further minimization of keyword blacklisting, while creating extensive publisher page exception lists by advertisers;
  • establishment of higher floor pricing for premium inventory, while expanding integration with trusted verification vendors by publishers;
  • updates to categorization & taxation strategies by ad tech vendors,
  • and  implementation and adoption of trust & safety policies by digital platforms (e.g. via the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership or else).