Five Big Internet Companies Targeting Rich TV Ad Budgets

The Internet continues to grow at a breathtaking rate. And it is slowly, but surely changing the way many standard entertainment and advertising are viewed and consumed by the consumer. The analysts at Jefferies recently attended the BrightRoll Video Summit in New York City. BrightRoll is an independent and unified programmatic video advertising platform. The company’s proprietary technology connects buyers and sellers of digital video advertising to help them reach audiences across Web, mobile and connected TV. The Jefferies team came away even more convinced that online video remains a huge growth opportunity. They are also convinced that TV ad money could be the big target.

In their report, the Jefferies analysts published a list of the top U.S. online video content properties for the past month.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) should be no surprise as the far-and-away winner. So many videos were viewed on the tech giant’s site that minutes per viewer was almost 300 for each. That translates in to five hours of viewing per unique viewer. With that kind of viewership in just one category, it is easy to see how Google can dominate the Internet as a multiple category player for years. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $662.32, adjusting for the recent split. Google closed Thursday at $525.16.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) just blew away recent earnings estimates, as its mobile advertising growth is starting to become astonishing. The company comes in a strong second to Google in the unique viewers category. However its minutes per viewer is much lower at 79.9 minutes. Facebook is primed with over a billion members and growing to be an ongoing force in the arena. The consensus price target for the stock is $74.61, and that could be going higher. Facebook closed Thursday at $60.87.

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AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) comes in third, but it is way behind Google and Facebook in videos and minutes per viewer. It still posted a decent 49.5 minutes per viewer, and the AOL franchise and brand have held up to withering competition over the past few years much better than many on Wall Street anticipated. The consensus price target is $52.55, and AOL closed Thursday at $41.93.

Yahoo! Inc. ( NASDAQ: YHOO) shareholders have seen the stock go up more than 50% in the past year as former Google executive Marissa Meyer has turned many of the critical metrics around, to the delight of Wall Street. The company is competitive in unique viewers and videos, and posts a higher 63.1 minutes per viewer than AOL. The consensus price target is $42.22. Yahoo! closed Thursday at $35.24. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), for all of its retail and cloud hosting prowess, trails the other in the three metrics. In fact, its minutes-per-viewer number stands at just 25. Due to the overall nature of its business however, this does not come as a surprise, and given some of its new ambitions, the statistics could change rapidly. The company posted solid earnings, and investors should be very pleased with its overall quarter. The consensus price target is $433.62. Amazon closed up big on Thursday at $337.15.

While the comScore online video rankings are subject to change monthly, it is a reasonably good bet that the current leaders will hold their ground, and perhaps gain more share in the future. For advertisers, the 18 to 34 age group is usually cherished the most, as they spend more than $1 trillion dollars per year. They are also the demographic that is very in-tune with Internet use. That may only change some as they age.

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