Last year, for the first time ever, digital video advertising spend came close to TV spend. The online video gold rush is on. An estimated 85% of Internet users regularly watch video.  Every, online magazine, blogger and digital publisher is now scrambling for a piece of the digital video advertising pie.

But how can they get it? It’s a three-part formula that I call CC+P: content, context and placement. Digital publishers need high-quality video content, contextually relevant articles, and coveted inventory (i.e. placing video “above the fold” on their web pages).

The content must be premium. Publishers otherwise risk digital video spiraling downward into an advertising bargain barrel. Consumers crave quality content, and advertisers want to associate with the same. No news there. But what exactly is premium content? Simply put, “premium” refers to professionally produced content. But there’s a catch: a professional, high-definition video that features a cat falling off a chair doesn’t qualify as premium. The actual content is also important—it must be interesting, engaging, informative and entertaining.

On a side note,’s need to do their homework and clearly understand what they are presenting. In the industry I’m in—sports video distribution—NFL, MLB and NBA highlights are considered premium content. In my field, I recommend’s (and media buyers) demand official certification from the leagues. Otherwise, they might be getting video of talking heads merely talking about major sports highlights…which is not premium content.

The content must be paired with contextually relevant articles, to keep the viewer on the page as long as possible. Just because someone walked into a newsstand store and glanced at X newspaper does not mean the publisher of X can call him or her a reader.

Premium video also needs premium placement. If, for example, the video player appears “below the fold” on a web page (meaning below your viewing area on your screen) or if it auto-plays once a user lands on that page, advertisers won’t define it as premium. Summed up, premiere placement of premium video means click-to-play and “above the fold.”

An individual’s time is our most valuable commodity. When consumers devote their time and attention to a piece of video content — and we (as publishers or aggregators) can report and prove it — this translates into premium value. Most digital marketers get it. However, newspaper.coms and digital publishers still have homework to do. Publishers must focus on video execution if they want to pick up their share of the multi-billion-dollar pie of video advertising revenue available in the marketplace right now.