Freewheel logoLong-form videos continue to grab the most online advertising. But creators who want to build big audiences also need short content, according to a report from Freewheel, an ad-monetization tech company. “Long-form (content) leads the way,” said Brian Dutt, director, advisory services for Freewheel, who presented the company’s quarterly report on online video and advertising trends this morning at Digital Hollywood in LA. “Content monetization continues to grow, up 29% year-over-year.” Long-form video, defined as more than 20 minutes in length, attracted more than half of all the ad spend on online video. Views of online videos grew 27% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, while views of online video ads grew 26%. That the two numbers are nearly identical is a good thing, Dutt said. “Are ad views keeping pace with video views? You want to see the (online video) audience growing, but you want to see advertising keeping up.”

Sports and breaking news remained the most popular live-streamed material. On-demand content tends to be far more diverse, reflecting the willingness of traditional content creators to put their shows online. But that content increasingly is only available to those who subscribe to pay TV and services such as HBO GO. Video behind authentication walls has jumped 400% in the past year, Dutt said.

There’s also a lively business in music videos, trailers and other short clips syndicated via aggregators such as YouTube, AOL and Yahoo. That’s key, Dutt said, for helping creators get the audience and eventually income to create solid businesses. “There was 23% growth year over year for short-form, like music videos and short clips,” excerpted from longer shows, Dutt said. “That’s a good sign. The more and more you see syndication, that’s how the video business gets to scale. You have to build scale around clips and short-form content, though most of the ads are in long-form.”

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What isn’t growing yet is what Freewheel calls “mid-form” content, between 5-20 minutes, though Dutt said that likely will change over the next year based on numerous deals and announcements in recent months.