Websites look to mobile in video ads fight against YouTube

LEADING British newspaper and magazine websites have seen a significant slowdown in video advertising growth as they struggle against the might of YouTube but are looking to mobile to fight back against its global rivals, industry research showed today.

Online video ad revenue increased just 5 per cent in the third quarter against 70 per cent in the same period a year ago, according to the Association of Online Publishers and Deloitte.

It is the slowest rate of increase for eight consecutive quarters since autumn 2012 and comes as the advertising clout of YouTube is laid bare by the success of video bloggers including make-up vlogger Zoella.

However, mobile ad revenue, which includes video, continues to grow strongly, rising 56 per cent in the quarter. The importance of screen size is reflected in the fact that tablets attract almost three-fifths of online mobile ads.

"There has been a huge growth in online video," the association's managing director Tim Cain said. "But most of the spread is going to the big platforms such as YouTube. The particular problem publishers have is, although they have very  high-quality content, when it  comes to delivering significant volumes of inventory, they've been quite challenged."

Association members, which range from News UK - owned by Rupert Murdoch - to news agency Thomson Reuters and Vogue publisher Condé Nast to the Evening Standard, saw total digital ad revenues across mobile and desktop devices rise 6%.

Howard Davies, Deloitte media partner, said: "As video advertising becomes more commonplace it is only natural that the year-on-year growth rates begin to fall. That said, with festive advertising already on our screens, we may yet see a return to faster growth in the fourth quarter."