CTV will not save you: why 2020 is the year brands will embrace mobile video
2020 should be the year advertisers embrace mobile video advertising. Not yet on board? Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of this opportunity for your brand.
Brands and consumers love videos (not TV)
Video is one of the most effective and engaging advertising formats. The sight, sound, and motion of video offer a vibrant canvas to communicate feelings, learn, or entertain, which brands can leverage to tell their stories and connect with consumers on an emotional level. While there is little debate that video advertising is one of the best ways to build a brand, there is also evidence that one of the most impactful video platforms — mobile — is being underutilized.
Linear TV viewership and audience figures are steadily declining year-after-year. TV consumption habits are evolving dramatically as consumers follow the content, independently of devices. YouTube and Netflix have been among the first to lure users away from traditional TV and its linear programs, and consumers now have tons of options outside of their traditional TV set. However, these OTT (over-the-top) environments are now largely based on a subscription model (Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Apple TV, BritBox...) which creates an important blind spot for brands who cannot reach consumers with ads.
One solution is to shift budgets from TV to online video, but here the problem is that cookies (identifiers that brands use to target their audiences or to adjust ad frequency in browsers) are becoming less and less reliable. On top of that, a recent Zenith report shows that not only is the addressable audience shrinking but as the demand grows, prices have gone up along with it which has caused a media cost inflation of 6.5% per year. Because of all these points, online video advertising on desktop cannot be the answer.
What is TV today? The better question may be “where is TV today?” As we experience ourselves in our daily lives, the majority of our video consumption is not happening on the TV set anymore. When consumers want to watch a specific content, they will watch it independently of the platform or the device, much to the dismay of some content creators. YouTube is slowly, but surely, eating into linear TV in terms of time spent per user per day, and it is worth noticing that the majority of YouTube consumption is on a mobile device. Another change we see is the type of content we consume on mobile; it’s not just short videos anymore. 83% of the video consumption on mobile is spent watching programs that are at least 21 minutes long, and the average US adult watches 40 minutes of video a day on mobile devices.
The problem is that the media industry loves to silo and label things, whereas consumers don’t. Consumers follow content, period. As content transcends siloes, media planning needs to respond accordingly. We believe the future of TV is digital, and that maximizing digital means emphasizing mobile.
In addition, in an age of hyper-targeting, one can argue that besides addressability capabilities that are coming to TV, it will always be a one-to-many channel and that TV viewers usually multi-task in the living room. This is the exact opposite when watching video content on a mobile device, where it’s one-to-one relationship and where users are fully engaged.
CTV will not save you. One could argue that CTV (Connected TV) is the answer; we believe it’s not, at least for your 2020 plan. The landscape is still being built and the stakes in play are tremendous with the major players preparing for the big battle for the living room. We believe that broadcasters will likely move slowly, and we project that it will take at least another two years to have a proper CTV ecosystem ready to deliver on its promises for brands. We also believe that broadcasters will adopt programmatic slowly: they have learned their lesson from their desktop experience with the commoditization of their inventory, loss of control, and accumulation of middlemen that shrink the net revenue they are seeing.
Mobile video offers the combination of scaled distribution, audience targeting, and the proven measurability that brands need to deliver effective campaigns. Advertisers' audiences are already here on mobile. As brand advertisers navigate this period of reorganization among the worlds of CTV and linear TV, we believe mobile video is a platform that deserves additional emphasis as the solution for delivering high impact, connective brand messaging to a massive, engaged audience.
Vincent Tessier is the brand and agency lead, EMEA for MoPub, a Twitter company.
Mopub was a partner of The Drum's Programmatic Punch UK 2019. Register your interest for 2020 here.