At a private dinner for top publishing executives at Cannes this year, I asked the group for some doses of optimism. It was a softball question. After all, it’s easy to be optimistic while dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in an olive grove. “The end of pivots,” came a reply.
The pivot to video became something of a joke. It was a stand-in for a period of time in the 2010s when publishers chased Facebook traffic and fleeting views of videos people quickly scrolled past. The big numbers publishers would brag about weren’t actually from their audience; they were from Facebook’s.
Yet in truth, the pivot to video has been happening. According to Sandvine, 65% of internet traffic in 2022 was video. The rise of TikTok, with the continued strength of Instagram and YouTube, shows how reading is giving way to viewing.
When I speak to publishers, I ask them their top priorities. I regularly hear video, along with areas like commerce or events. (I rarely, if ever, hear display advertising.) This was backed up in our research, which we conducted in August with a survey completed by 67 publishing executives. A solid majority said video is a top priority, yet under a quarter said that video advertising makes up over 25% of revenue.
That disconnect between the potential and current reality shown through in our research, the first that The Rebooting has done. We partnered with VideoElephant, a global digital video aggregator, to understand that contradiction. Next in Media’s Mike Shields was my collaborator on this report, which seeks to put our survey’s findings into context.