Like everything else, video is going mobile. Mobile video starts on smartphones tripled year-over-year from 2011 to 2012, according to a newly released report by Adobe Digital Index. However, tablet video consumption slightly outpaced smartphones for video starts at 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with 1.3 percent for smartphones.
The bottom line? A growing mobile audience obviously means revenue opportunities for advertisers. “Tablet viewers, in particular, are early adopters who typically spend more money, book more trips, and consume more media content. Publishers can capitalize on this target audience with high CPMs and incremental impressions,” according to the report, “The U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: 2012 Review (PDF).”
“The accessibility and capability technologically to access video has reached critical mass,’’ said Tamara Gaffney, senior manager, Adobe Digital Index, adding that consumers are flocking to digital video to a much greater degree. One of the report’s more significant findings is that “Regular digital video—the kind where you go to a media site and watch a video—increased 30 percent year over year,” and video streams experienced a 50 percent growth rate in two years, Gaffney told CMO.com. From Q3 to Q4 2012, video consumption grew 13 percent.
“Marketers have a better opportunity than ever before to engage in video brand advertising as well as visitor acquisition advertising,” such as click-rate based advertising, according to the Adobe report.
Not surprisingly, video consumption on smartphones ebbs and flows during the week and is more likely to be consumed outside of the home. But the report found “a clear pattern” of more video being watched on the weekends, at home, and through a Wi-Fi connection.
Broadcast TV content is currently garnering the most views among the various video options. While PCs are the source of the most views, the report found that tablets have the highest completion rates. Specifically, TV-related content brings in video starts that were 30 percent higher compared with other types of video on tablets.
“Broadcast TV and special sporting events offer both branding and visitor acquisition opportunities. Viewers on PCs will see ads when they precede a TV program—great for brand opportunities,’’ the report states. “Tablet viewers (who are more likely to complete a video) are more likely to see post-roll ads, which are best for call-to-action advertising.”
The report also delved into TV Everywhere, the industry term used to describe the encrypted video stream that subscribers of a satellite or cable network service can tune into to watch live streaming video once they are authenticated. According to the report, there was a rise in authenticated streams from 18.3 million in 2011 to 222.5 million in 2012.
“The really interesting thing is Xbox viewers were using their game console device most often to access TV Everywhere consumption,’’ observed Gaffney, adding that 70 percent of TV Everywhere viewing was done on mobile devices, including iPads, tablets, and smartphones. A number of factors contributed to this increase, the report found, including greater penetration for these devices, that they have Wi-Fi, and that more mobile phones are now on faster, 4G networks.
Digital video and social media work clearly well together, with the report finding that video social engagement rose from 42 percent to 70 percent in 2012. The viral reach of video was also found to outpace other types of content, increasing from 55 percent compared with non-video content in Q1 2012 to 77 percent by Q4.
Often, mobile and video are thought of as separate entities, Gaffney said, “but mobile, video, and social are all linked together and. . .it’s much more complex than that.” When marketers create spots with video in them, the research found “they get a higher virtual reach and greater social engagement.”
Additionally, “if you put out a post with video in it or a link [to a video], when it gets shared on social networks. . .there’s a much greater percentage of people who finish watching it.” That means if you share a video, the likelihood is your friends will watch it in its entirety because they will be interesting in same thing you’re interested in, she said.
In terms of ad placement in videos, the report found that placement at the end of a video has a better click-through rate (about 3 percent) compared to ads placed in the middle or on the front end. “So as a media marketer, the best thing you can do is add more video content to your social media marketing. . .and do more social media marketing, in general,’’ Gaffney advised.
In terms of social media—Facebook, specifically— “It’s just a wakeup call for people to do more video content in their social marketing,’’ she emphasized. “There’s just not enough posts that include video, and stats [on] the benefits of using video are overwhelmingly in favor of doing more video posting. Don’t think about social media in isolation but. . .in relation to putting a video in posting, and you’ll be maximizing your social media marketing ROI.”
In tandem with the release of the digital index, Adobe Systems today launched its Adobe Prime platform for programmers and pay-TV providers. “The platform tightly integrates Adobe’s video publishing, player, DRM, advertising and analytics solutions to help eliminate the complexity of reaching audiences across screens and to create great digital video experiences while also offering new monetization opportunities for programmers and pay TV service providers,’’ Adobe stated in a release.