Just when we finally got used to digital as an advertising medium, we’re now at the precipice of change in the digital arena. What we know now as digital advertising is becoming “traditional” digital advertising as we see new, innovative uses of the Internet that lead to more new ways to advertise—and more options and opportunities for our clients.

It’s true that TV is still the dominant medium. With more hours spent watching TV and a bigger reach, it’s understandable why advertisers spent $78 billion on TV advertising in 2013. But many media research studies estimate that TV and online video advertising will merge in the next few years.

What does this mean for advertising? Well, for one, media buying will become a hybridized market of TV and online video. The two already bear some similarities, and, as advertisers continue to pursue multiscreen campaigns, convergence is inevitable.

Possible evidence of convergence can be found at Apple. This year, the company is changing their full-screen video iAds within iPhone and iPad apps. Rather than requiring the user to click a mobile banner to play the ad, these new ads will be interruptive – that is, they interrupt your use of the app to play the video ad. Sounds a lot like TV ads, doesn’t it?

Apple isn’t the only company blending TV and online video. Smart TVs allow people to watch online content on their TVs, and TV Everywhere apps allow people to watch TV content on their computers, phones, and tablets. What used to be black and white is quickly becoming a gray area.

At SPM, we’re staying ahead of these growing trends. We shoot footage, not TV commercials, because our content must be multipurpose so it can be used across multiple screens and multiple mediums, not just TV. We know consumers may come in contact with a brand via TV, but they are also using the internet in the healthcare decision making process. We strive to make an impression at every possible touch point.

But drastic changes in digital advertising will soon produce completely new touch points for advertising. An example would be internet-connected devices. Dubbed the “Internet of Things,” we will see more and more products (such as household appliances) with online capabilities – and, eventually, advertisements.

Not only will these devices change the way we view digital advertising, but they will also provide mountains of consumer behavior data. As people become increasingly connected, companies will be able to collect data from these products and use it to push targeted ads and information to the consumer.

Regardless of what changes the future holds, spending on online video advertising will continue to increase. Over the last year, spending increased by 44.5% and a report from eMarketer predicts another big jump in 2014. And, as online video continues to grow, we can expect increased integration of TV and online video, with Nielsen reporting full convergence by 2020. That’s why, at SPM, we are constantly monitoring these changes, and working on ways to incorporate this into client media plans.

All of this information poses an interesting question: If the Internet is largely responsible for the death of the traditional print business model, will online video do the same to TV? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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