There was a time when mobile video advertising was merely an add-on—a luxury—to desktop and traditional advertising. This is no longer the case.
Growth in video consumption and creation due to the availability of new platforms, environments, and innovations has sparked a mobile ad revolution which is seeing an organic fusion of mobile video and programmatic—advertising’s not-so-distant future.
The rapid growth in mobile video viewing has been driven by the adoption of smartphones. YouTube no longer has a monopoly over online video. Instead, the doors have been blown wide open for competitors and ad innovators to seize the advertising opportunities presented. They’re doing so without hesitation—and for good reason.
Video Is the Consumer Platform of Choice
First, the speedy rise in video consumption (set to rise to 80% of global internet traffic, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index) paints a picture of rapidly changing consumer habits.
Consumers spend less than 15 seconds on articles, according to Chartbeat. This is affected by a further decline of 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction, and 7% lost conversions for a mere one second delay in page load time.
In contrast, there are no comparable figures on the time consumers spend watching video, though the average video on YouTube is 14 minutes and on Facebook 81.22 seconds.
The trend is, nevertheless, clear—consumers love video and are opting for video over text. The latest YouTube metrics corroborate this shift entirely: the number of hours people spend watching videos on mobile is up 100% year-on-year.
Mobile Adoption: Onwards And Upwards
Second, mobile traffic, mobile adoption, and mobile-only are rising.
Between December 2014 and December 2015, the IAB found internet views on mobile grew from 23% to 32% as views on desktop dropped from 77% to 68%. Multi-platform is reducing, with 21% of Millennials now mobile-only, according to comScore.
Another IAB study shows that more than half (52%) of people prefer to use their smartphone for most tasks than desktop. In fact, only two of 13 categories identified by the IAB were desktop-favoured: portals and email. Alongside this is the fact women are spending a staggering (and increasing) 49% of the time and 329 minutes more a month on mobile than men.
Marketers need to adapt—and adapt quickly.
The corollary of rising mobile traffic is that video is no longer confined solely to homes or the office. Video is available in shops, on public transport, or even in the mountains in case we’re in desperate need of viewing a funny cat video.
Mobility isn’t the future, but the present, and it’s here to stay. Indeed, mobility is the future if advertisers want to move with the times, and along with this will come a need to automate the buying and selling of the ads through the addition of programmatic into the mix.
How Are Advertisers Rising To The Challenge?
Ad spend versus mobile media consumption still lags when compared to radio, TV, and internet platforms, but advertisers’ priorities and focus are starting to shift accordingly.
Beneath this is the fact that, in 2015, U.K. video ad spend grew 50% to £711 million, whilst the percentage of mobile digital ad spend is projected to grow from 49% to 72.2% by 2019. With smartphone and tablet usage also skyrocketing, 394% and 1,721% respectively, during the past four years to overtake desktop, shifting to mobile video ad spend is a wise move and investment.
Rapid growth in video ad spend is ultimately being driven by better targeting capabilities, more innovative video inventory, and a greater focus on optimising video content for mobile consumption—so, for example, making video content enjoyable both with and without sound.
One prime example of this has been the emergence of the vertical ad.
A step-change improvement on simply refitting TV ads for mobile screens championed by Snapchat, vertical ads earn 9x the viewing-completion rate of horizontal video, as the social platform claims. This year, vertical ads are set to grow rapidly, with further innovations arriving on the scene, such as Vertical Reveal—a vertical video unit for advertisers and publishers just launched by video distribution platform Virool.
Programmatic Is Here To Stay
Programmatic is another—and key—emerging innovation, and it is central if advertisers truly want to exploit the opportunities presented by shifting consumer behaviour, advancing technological capabilities, and wider availability of mobile video. Advertisers realise this, and we are at the tipping point of seeing this become a wholesale reality.
Latest estimates now suggest that 54% of worldwide mobile display-related advertising will be traded programmatically by 2018. Tapjoy just launched Tapjoy Private Exchange enabling brand owners to access its premium in-app, opt-in mobile video inventory programmatically for the first time.
Meanwhile, YouTube, eager not to be left behind, recently rolled out a new six-second ad format designed for quick snippets of content called Bumper in a bid to make its ad proposition more mobile-friendly.
With all this scope, innovation, investment, and potential, it is no wonder that 68% of marketers agreed in an IAB survey that original digital video programming would become as important as original TV programming within the next three years.
Perhaps, the starkest statistic in this regard is that 72% of agencies and marketers plan to shift funds from TV advertising to digital video advertising in 2016. Increasing proportions of these funds will be dedicated to harnessing programmatic, as it is the logical long-term solution to maximising ROIs in mobile video.
The fusion of mobile video and programmatic means that the mobile video revolution has finally entered full throttle.