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Even small businesses are hip to online video

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For a very brief and blissful period, TV viewers who just couldn’t stand local TV ads anymore had an outlet: Watch TV online instead. Yes, there were ads, but companies were slow to advertise during online videos, and small businesses were even slower. That period seems to be ending.

A Kelsey Group report scheduled for release on the research firm’s blog Wednesday predicts that revenue from localized video ads on the Web will grow to $1.5 billion in 2012 from a mere $10.9 million in 2007. Small and medium-sized businesses will spend 11.6% of their online advertising budgets on video ads by 2012, the firm predicts. Figure out a way to avoid online video ads and your mattress is freeeeee! (See video above.)

Businesses small and large are following the viewers to these online video sites, said Steve Robinson, president of Panache, a Los Angeles company that helps Web publishers put ads in their videos. ‘As viewers shift from traditional TV to getting TV on their broadband, media buyers will need to shift their buys from traditional to new TV,’ he said.

About 62% of consumers have seen an online video ad, up from 59% in 2007, according to a Kelsey Group survey. And though they don’t hate video ads more than pop-ups, that could change as the ads become more prevalent.

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If consumers flee from local TV commercials on TV and then do the same on the Web, what’s a local business to do? You could always follow in the steps of one L.A. company and pay people to get your business name tattooed on their necks.

-- Alana Semuels

Semuels, a Times staff writer, covers marketing and the L.A. tech scene.


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