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Industry Insights Mobile Video

Why 2015 will be the 'year of mobile' for video advertising

By Yoav Arnstein, head of EMEA



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February 10, 2015 | 5 min read

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It’s no secret that the global digital advertising market has skyrocketed over the past several years.

Fueled largely by the emergence of sophisticated programmatic technologies, online ad spend in Western Europe alone is expected to reach $34.49bn in 2015 according to eMarketer.

Although that figure is clearly an impressive projection, to continue at that trajectory, we as an industry need to conquer the next emerging frontier - mobile.

I know, you’ve been hearing 'this is the year of mobile' for the past five years, but when it comes to the prevalence of mobile video ads, now is the time we’ll really begin to witness growth comparable to desktop in the European markets.

First and foremost, let’s look at the consumer - two trends are forcing us to think very hard about mobile video monetization as consumer time spent continues to grow.

One implication is that we will hit the stagnation point of available, premium desktop inventory.

Also, an increasing amount of short form video content is becoming available as it’s much more suitable for consumption on mobile devices with smaller screens.

Combine these two factors with the prediction that addressable TV, while an important development and a growth area, will not be able to absorb critical mass of audience targeted video budgets.

This means now is the time to double down on mobile video inventory. However, for this growth to happen as it should, it will require substantial efforts from both the buy-and-sell-sides to address potential growth-stifling issues and make mobile more video friendly.

We need to start with building the confidence of marketers as mobile video can be daunting for brands when you consider the small screens and ad formats with vision, motion, and sound limitation.

Furthermore, apps do not always provide a clear proxy for audience. Combine that with scarcity of scalable and accurate third-party data and any sense of audience buying is lost.

Also other digital environment measurement standards don’t apply making the ability to measure performance on a consistent basis more difficult.

While I expect that the aforementioned issues will be solved in due time, I think another key to increasing buyers’ comfortability and spend with mobile is data. What today’s buyers want is the ability to run highly targeted campaigns across devices at scale.

Advertisers spend a lot of time, money, and effort researching their target market and developing quality creative.

Publishers need to provide buyers with the assurance that they’re reaching their target demographic, by layering in valuable data so there is a true understanding of who is seeing the ad.

For publishers to effectively segment their inventory and enable buyers to make these smart, data-driven decisions calls for a sophisticated toolset.

Advanced technology for audience and inventory forecasting will help convince buyers and be a major driver in the case to increase mobile video ad spend.

We must also not repeat past mistakes by overloading media with ad placements that create clutter, disruption and very limited value.

Sellers are in a great position because today, the demand for premium mobile video inventory is significantly outpacing supply. For mobile publishers, (those with an app or mobile website), there are a few key considerations that can greatly effect the success of their mobile monetization efforts.

Typically, their number one concern is user experience. After all, with no users, there’s no inventory to monetize.

Mobile publishers are tasked with the challenges of creating a positive consumer experience within a premium environment.

By doing so, they’re likely creating a more engaged audience, which also sets advertisers up for success and can warrant higher CPMs. In terms of what formats to offer, I think the best route, especially in an effort to preserve user experience, is native.

While native video ads aren’t really happening today, they’ll be prominent within a few years and it would behoove publishers who are building or revamping their apps, to keep native video ads in mind.

It’s also important to remember that mobile video ads are not necessarily just for mobile video publishers - even without actual video content, mobile publishers can still consider offering video inventory.

Mobile is the only place with true consumption and scalable amount of inventory - making this an extremely exciting time for the industry.

For video to succeed on mobile, both sides of the ad buying equation need to keep in mind the above considerations and take steps to help illustrate the value prop of mobile video ads, particularly from a measurement standpoint.

I’m looking forward to watching the industry evolve and this finally being the true 'year of mobile' for video advertising.

Yoav Arnstein, head of EMEA, LiveRail (a Facebook company)



Twitter: @LiveRail

Industry Insights Mobile Video

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