BrightRoll is a San Francisco-based video advertising network that started operations in 2005. It’s now, according to comScore, the fourth largest property in America in terms of video ads viewed.

In March 2011, BrightRoll delivered over 387 million video ads, hitting 22.8% of the total US population. That means a little more than 1 out of every 5 people living in this country view at least one video ad delivered by BrithtRoll every month. Pretty impressive! You’d think a company with that kind of reach would know a thing or two about the state of online video advertising. It does.

Brightroll conducts an annual agency survey called the Online Video Advertising Report. Every year, the company polls the advertising agency executives and media buyers it works with to get a sense of their spending on, feelings about, and understanding of online video advertising. The third iteration of the report came out this week. Here are some key takeaways:

  • 28% of buyers revealed that they expect to see the greatest increase in ad spending in the online video category for 2011, followed by mobile video (27%) and social media (25%)
  • 86% of respondents are shifting at least part of their display dollars over to video, while 64% plan to shift TV dollars to video; budgets are also migrating from search, social media and direct response, though in slightly more modest numbers at 28%, 27% and 26%, respectively
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that online video is equally as effective, if not more effective, than television advertising
  • 41% of media buyers view targeting as online video advertising’s greatest attribute, representing an increase of nine percentage points from 2010
  • For the third year in a row, buying directly from online publishers was reported as the dominant means of purchasing inventory (52%), followed by ad networks (31%), broadcasters (10%), portals (6%) and ad exchanges (2%)
  • 96% of respondents indicated that research into the efficacy of online video helps drive value for advertisers, though just 35% are conducting research of their own

It’s important to note our sources. BrightRoll is most likely polling individuals and agencies it already works with, so of course those individuals and agencies are going to be more likely to see the benefits of online video advertising and allocate their ad buys accordingly. But still, those numbers above are overwhelmingly positive for the online video industry.

Individuals are spending nearly as much, if not more time online than watching they are watching traditional television. The results of BrighRoll’s study indicate more ad dollars will start following those viewers onto new media. It’s about time.