Online Video’s Next Frontier- Local

We were recently commissioned to write a report for the Local Search Association on the rapid growth of online video in the local space. Below is the executive summary:

Executive Summary

Spurred by mobile and the growth of video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime and video sites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, online video has emerged as one of the fastest growing forms of online media both in dollar terms and as a share of total media spending. This growth isn’t just relegated to national markets or big brands either. Our small business research shows businesses of all sizes are getting into the mix. Year over year, the number of local businesses utilizing online video as a part of their marketing mix is set to nearly double by the end of 2015. What is fueling this growth and is it sustainable? In this report, we detail online video’s transition to local markets. Below are some key highlights.
There are three main drivers pushing online video deeper into local markets:

The rise of the connected consumer. This year 148 million U.S. adults or 60% will use mobile devices when searching for information on local products and services online. The need for quick, digestible, and engaging content everywhere is driving video usage. Over 40% are using online video as a source of information when searching for local services.

Online video delivers superior performance. Local businesses that have used video in their marketing mix are seeing tremendous results. Over half (53%) of online video viewers have contacted a store, by phone calls (40%) and store visits (33%), based on the content of the video.

Technology improvements have lowered the costs for local businesses. The emergence of video marketplace platforms to create video content have helped to streamline the video production process. This has made video more affordable for smaller businesses.

There are a number of challenges that still need to be addressed:

Education is a limiting factor. Getting a local sales force to understand the value of online video and consistently sell it to their customers remains a huge challenge.

Lack of local buying platforms. Lacking a central platform for local advertisers to view inventory, tools to match their needs to available audiences and resources for easily buying local online video placements, local businesses have for the most part been marginal spenders when it comes to purchasing local online video.

Inconsistent metrics, pricing and distribution. Measurement, pricing, and distribution are other key issues for local businesses. There are many options and inconsistencies between vendors.

We think online video’s future in local looks bright:

Local programmatic video buying will evolve. With access to more local inventory, the demand for new live action video will increase. eMarketer estimates that 40% of the online video ad spending will be bought programmatically by 2016. This will spur growth in local.

The local online video ecosystem will change. You may see ad networks focus on specific business verticals to simplify the value proposition and education requirements for sales reps. This would facilitate double digit growth in local for the foreseeable future.

In addition, bieMEDIA’s CEO, Jon Barocas, provides his insights into online video’s transition to the local space.


This report contains a lot of great information for marketing executives, product managers, and other folks working in the local space. The report is free for LSA research subscribers at LSA Insights and is available for purchase for non-subscribers. Individuals that register for the Fast Forward conference will also get a copy with their registration.




Jason Peaslee

Jason Peaslee is the Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics, a marketing research and analytics consulting firm. His career spans more than 20 years in marketing, advertising, product development, research, and business management. Before founding Thrive Analytics in 2010, he held several senior leadership roles at AT&T, Reynolds & Reynolds, Berry Network, & The Berry Company.

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