NEW YORK: Advertisers are investing more of their growing digital budgets in original video programming, new research has indicated.

The fourth annual Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study, based on a survey of 358 marketing and media buying professionals, conducted by Advertiser Perceptions on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), found that total investment in original digital video has almost doubled over the past two years.

And 80% of brand and agency executives said they plan to spend even more on original digital video this year.

The IAB maintained that the figures demonstrated the importance of the Digital Content NewFronts – which it organizes – in media buying decisions.

The study claimed that nearly nine in 10 advertisers (88%) said they increased their original digital video budget as a result of attending the 2016 NewFronts. And more than three-quarters (77%) agreed that the event had encouraged them to investigate ways to incorporate VR or 360-degree video advertising into their marketing strategy.

For 2017, marketers and media buyers indicated they would be allocating 40% of their original digital video budget to the event, up from 37% last year.

"Original digital video is an inventive and engrossing medium that is increasingly being leveraged by advertisers to reach and engage consumers," said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB.

"As video evolves with the introduction of VR and 360-degree technologies, we can expect to see original digital video play an even bigger part in brand strategy."

Original digital video now commands 47% of digital budgets, up from 45% a year ago.

And an increasing proportion of that spending is being directed to native advertising buys – 42% in 2017, up from 32% in 2016.

More than half (53%) of respondents cited expanding budgets as the means to fund this rise in original digital video spend.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by WARC staff