The recent TV upfront helped to prove that both social and online video can drive audience and build fan bases for TV shows, said Amanda Richman, MediaVest’s digital chief in an exclusive interview with Beet.TV.

Advertisers are viewing social opportunities as less of a threat and more of a means to complement and drive both a TV and an online video strategy, said Richman, MediaVest’s President of Digital.

Online video too, is registering growth across the board and that’s coming in part through the widespread use of mobile devices. “What is behind the growth is co-viewing,” she said. “With the advent of tablets and iPads and devices, people are consuming online video as they watch TV. We are starting to see it influencing prime-time both in content development as well as understanding what is the experience in the living room.”

Issues top of mind for marketers in online video these days are how to make it discoverable, and how to use a social strategy to enhance that, Richman said. MediaVest is also conducting research to better understand the co-viewing connection between tablets and TVs, as well as the role online video often plays as the connective tissue between them.

In addition, the media agency is advocating mobile and mobile video as a strategy for many clients, Richman said. “It’s important for us to not get caught up too much in the fear factor of what’s the right way to start in mobile, but just to start layering mobile into all campaigns because the connection people have with their mobile devices is very powerful,” she said.

Earlier this week, comScore releases its latest online video figures showing more growth. In July, the total U.S. Internet audiences watched a record 6.9 billion viewing sessions, comScore reported. The research firm said 180 million U.S. Internet users watched online video in July, averaging 18.5 hours per view. That’s up from 178 million users watching 16.8 hours in June.

Daisy Whitney