What you need to know about mobile video advertising in 2017

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The rise of mobile video

As consumers are increasingly relying on their mobile devices, brands have turned digital. For 2017, mobile video advertising is being touted among the year’s top advertising formats. What is leading this growth? Who are the consumers and which regions are at the forefront of mobile video advertising?
According to Ooyala, mobile video views jumped 56% by the end of 2016, up from 46% in 2015 and just 17% in 2013. It is expected that views will be significantly boosted in 2017 with core viewers being Millennials. According to Nielsen research, 60% of those aged 18-34 years viewed video on mobile devices weekly, compared to 27% on desktops and 24% on tablets. However, the older generation is catching up with 61% of Baby Boomers now owning smartphone devices.
Naturally, the rise in viewership has led to marketers turning toward mobile video formats to reach consumers. Location-targeted mobile video formats were one of the top trends last year, according to Positive Mobile research. Top advertising categories in mobile video include consumer-packaged goods (CPG), retailers and telecommunications companies.
These findings are bolstered by an ad forecast from BIA/Kelsey which revealed that spending on local video advertising to reach local consumers will increase from $32.6 billion in 2016 to $37.6 billion by 2021. That growth is being led by digital, but also TV.
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Programmatic is another core trend among digital advertisers with US programmatic ad spend forecast to grow 40.1% in 2017 to reach $8.66 billion and $10.65 billion by 2018. That’s quite a jump from the mere $3 billion in expenditure just two years ago.
Live video is another driver of growth with platforms such as Facebook Live and YouTube Live now actively being considered by marketers. For agency advertisers (70%) and marketers (72%), Facebook is the leading choice for live stream video advertising. However, Snapchat, Periscope and Vine are catching up and offer some interesting opportunities to reach unique audiences.
Newer video advertising formats such as mid-roll and social video are adding to this growth. Indeed, BI Intelligence expects social video advertising spend to double in 2017 to $4 billion, accounting for a third of digital video ads in the US and 20% of social media sales.
Additionally, viewability measures for mobile video are also improving which makes it an ever more attractive format as advertisers and agencies are able to accurately attribute views to consumer action. According to Integral Ad Science, viewability across digital video improved from 40% to 58.2% in the first half of 2016 compared to 2015 and rates of completion jumped almost 27% to 35%.

Some local insights – UK and China

In the UK, mobile video advertising spend more than doubled last year to reach £693 million. According to the latest IAB/PwC figures, mobile video is now the country’s fastest growing ad format and accounts for 29% of total digital growth. Much of the rise in video is driven by outstream and social in-feed content. Outstream accounted for 43% of all video advertising expenditure, but a whopping 56% on mobile.
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However, format length counts for UK viewers. Indeed, according to AOL Advertising 32% of consumers are viewing videos that are less than five minutes long. As video formats get longer, mobile audiences decline. 20% of consumers are now viewing videos up to nine minutes in length, whilst 17%-18% are watching videos that are longer than 10 minutes.
Interestingly, Japanese marketers agree. Among their top suggestions for keeping mobile video adverts from being disliked by consumers are shortening video lengths (40.8%) and allowing viewers to skip adverts (39.5%). That’s according to findings from a survey of digital marketers in the country conducted by Digital InFact (DIF) and Macromill and compiled by eMarketer.
China has seen a boom in digital advertising over recent years and video is fast becoming a leading format. Mobile video advertising spending is projected to reach $4.32 billion this year, up from $1.75 billion in 2015. By 2020, Statista expects ad spend on mobile video to reach a whopping $9.15 billion.
eMarketer expects mobile video in the country to make up 72% of all video ad spending totaling $17.37 billion by 2021.
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Interestingly, much of the growth in mobile video in China is led by Tencent, iQiyi and Youku Tudou, according to the Quarterly Monitoring Report on China’s Online Video Advertising Market 2016 Q3 by Analysys.
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However, a study by Kantar Millward Brown found that Chinese mobile users may be less receptive to video adverts than other mobile audiences globally. Indeed, smartphone video ad receptivity in China was just 9% compared to an average 19% worldwide. Similarly, tablet receptivity was 10% in China compared to 19% worldwide.

Key takeaways and best practices

  1. Keep it short. Mobile is a very different format compared to TV, and longer TV-style adverts aren’t working on small handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. Shorter, snappier formats have been proven to be more effective time and again.
  2. Get your message across instantly. Don’t wait too long for the big reveal. In fact, research has confirmed that best advertising practices include sharing logos and key brand messages immediately. That is particularly true for mobile video ads where consumer attention span is limited.
  3. Try innovative formats. 360º and VR mobile video formats are likely to make some solid advances this year. These are more engaging versions of mobile video adverts and are likely to perform well; particularly at stages when the format is still fresh and consumers aren’t bored of them just yet.
  4. Be creative, be bespoke. It pays to develop strong narratives for mobile video ads. After all, more creative mobile video adverts are the ones that are being shared.
  5. Know your product and your budget. Understanding a brand’s product and its relation to an audience can be tricky to master and most likely requires research, patience and experience. Social media platforms such as Facebook are ideal for trialling video campaigns to test which ones attract the greatest response.

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