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VOD advertising held back by poor quality control

The fast-growing VOD advertising industry is being let down by lack of tools and standardized quality controls for copy production and delivery, according to a report by UK media logistics specialist IMD.

The potential audience for VOD and online video advertising is growing rapidly, with the market set to rise from $3.5 billion in 2010 to almost $22 billion by 2016 according to UK TV analysis group Digital TV Research. This chimes with figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) indicating that online video advertising is growing at around 100 percent year-on-year.

In line with this trend, VOD advertising is moving up the agenda for brands and media buyers, creating a pressing need for a serious overhaul of inefficient, revenue inhibiting workflows, according to IMD. Research commissioned by IMD suggests strongly that an expert service or intermediary holding the source file for an ad at the highest quality would eliminate errors and missed deadlines. This would help create the right file formats and resolution sizes from the original source and provide one interface to manage the delivery to all TV and online destinations, achieving higher efficiencies across multiple platforms.

IMD calls for more quality control of advertising, over presentation and placement, and far more efficient operational procedures to put VOD on a par with linear TV. At present, copy comes in from all directions and is often misdirected or difficult to identify, while the format in which the file is packaged is regularly incompatible with the specifications of the publisher. When content has not been rigorously and uniformly checked for quality or consistency in accordance with a publisher’s technical specifications, all too often the ad that arrives is of sub-standard quality, which extends turnaround times and increases costs.

At the same time, as bandwidth increases, more and more publishers are switching to HD video for advertising, bringing an additional problem in that adverts produced for small players suffer degradation in quality when blown up for larger screens. Not only does a file need to be in the correct specification to work in the appropriate video player, but it also has to be at the right resolution to avoid appearing pixilated and stretched.