Mobile Is Making Some Serious Noise with Video Leading the Charge

It’s been “The Year of Mobile” every year for more than half a decade. At least it has seemed so from the breathless articles about it over the years.

While Apple and Google ushered in a new era of mobile computing, many have been waiting for the various content and advertising puzzle pieces to come together into real, viable businesses.

From recent earnings results and various media reports, mobile may have finally arrived with the advent of streaming media.

This from The Financial Times two days ago:

“New research shows a surge in people watching not just short clips but entire television episodes and films on tablets and smartphones. While 38 percent of smartphone owners regularly watch videos on their device, about a tenth now watch full-length television programmes, according to Magid Advisors, a consulting group whose clients include large media and technology companies.”

That’s great news for publishers, advertisers and TV companies looking for scale across screens. However, usage numbers don’t mean much unless revenue shows up as well, and we have recently seen heartening results from companies who have retooled for the mobile revolution.

See Facebook’s most recent earnings results as an example. The social networking company had $0 of mobile revenue in Q1 2012 and they just reported selling more than $650 million in mobile advertising in Q2 2013 alone. And that’s without high-value video advertising in the mix, which is reportedly on its way.

The Financial Times picked up on that trend as well, pointing to not only Facebook, but Google and Pandora as well. Alas, the hurdles the advertising industry have discussed in the past still exist in our increasingly multi-screen world: measurement, streamlining how creative is adapted for various screens and targeting fragmented audiences.

Nevertheless, the digital revolution, led by mobile, will change TV as we know it today — from the living room pastime activity to an always-on, available-anywhere medium. As our CEO Amir Ashkenazi put it in the FT piece: “Mobile is the connected television that we all carry in our pockets.”

The TV Revolution Will Be Tablet-ized

For the first time, more than a third of American adults own a tablet, according to a new Pew Internet and American Life Project report out yesterday. This is up from just 3% of those surveyed in 2010.

Today’s tablets are a fairly new category of devices compared to other video-playing screens, yet over the three years of its life cycle it has grown exponentially:

While tablet adoption is growing across demographics, it is concentrated around adults in the late thirties/early forties, while smartphones continue to be most popular with the 18-34 set.

Clearly, there is a reason why nearly half of buyers have added mobile to their media plans for this year: More and more time is being spent on smaller, mobile screens. More specifically, tablets are the perfect complement to an entertainment system, large enough to offer the lean-back TV experience from living rooms of yore but small enough to be carried from room-to-room or watched while on the subway or bus.

In fact, tablets are becoming the go-to mobile device for watching television-style content. Couple that trend with the overall growth of the tablet market, and we can envision a future where television can truly go everywhere.

Get Ready For Mobile Video Ads Or Get Busy Losing Money

Have you seen the video with the funny cat that jumps into the box? How about the thousands of variations of “Sh*t {insert-your-favorite-group-here} says?” Chances are, if you did, you saw it on your mobile device.  This is no surprise as a recent study cited that over 35% of US adults own a smartphone and of those that own a smartphone, 87% use their phones as an Internet portal.

Similar to how we moved on from propeller planes to jet planes; mobile phones are quickly becoming one of the main ways we consume media. At the same time it makes making it more challenging for brands to reach their ever-more fragmented audiences. For savvy marketers however, harnessing the mobile video trend has its upside and it seems the adoption has already started.

[Read more...]

Can we still call the iPad an emerging device?

In our 2010 Video State of the Industry survey we inquired about emerging devices to determine whether it was in fact, a truly “emerging” sector for online video. The fields were limited, so in our most recent report (November 2011), we broadened the question and asked both advertisers and publishers about specific brands of devices.

Out of all of the emerging devices we inquired about, video ad spending on the iPad showed the most significant increase, up 18% from last year. Adding to the indicators of engagement, the growth in iPad adoption could very well be attributed to the idea that it’s the most popular device because it delivers the ideal mix of TV and video exceptionally well.

[Read more...]