• Mobile video consumption continues to surge.

    Sports fans are habitually turning to their smartphones and tablets to view game highlights and updates for their favourite leagues, teams, and players. And, according to research by AOL on video consumption, viewers in general are more likely to watch videos on a mobile device because of its convenience (screen size is a secondary factor and generally growing in size).

    In October alone, SendtoNews displayed more than 135 million video views to its North American audience, about 13 million of which were on mobile.

    The mobile video market sector became relevant to digital advertisers during 2015, representing almost 40% of the total advertising spend. For brands and publishers that want to be front and center where their audiences are most engaged, mobile-optimised video advertising must play a role in their 2016 strategic plan.

  • As money moves from traditional television to digital video, marketers are becoming more savvy at picking the right video content to fit their brand.

    Leagues and teams are working more closely with digital syndicators than ever before to get their digital video content into the online market.

    Associating your brand with sports has the same appeal digitally as linearly, and syndicators are making it easier, more efficient, and cost effective for brands to reach target consumers during the regular season, as well as during high viewership events like all-star games, international tournaments, and post-season playoffs.

    Often, brands and agencies can create complementary and comprehensive online campaigns for a fraction of the cost of comparative broadcast campaigns and can better target their efforts by variables such as geography and display times.

    You thought mobile was big in 2015? Wait until you see 2016.
    You thought mobile was big in 2015? Wait until you see 2016.
  • Execution and accountability are playing a larger role in premium digital ad buying decisions.

    Approximately 85% of Internet users are watching online videos. And as the market for digital video advertising matures, engaged online advertisers are demanding better performance transparency for their campaigns.

    Quality of the video content, demographic targeting, and reach, as well as proof of viewability – particularly above-the-fold viewability – are becoming major factors in premium advertising spend.

  • Programmatic advertising is becoming a viable alternative for matching premium digital video content with premium CPMs.

    Programmatic advertising is a valuable tool for digital marketers looking to fulfill campaign objectives efficiently. Premium options have matured and, when properly executed, can generate sufficient CPMs necessary for high-quality sports highlights and other fan interest video clips.

    This is an important shift in the market, as it helps resolve the major challenge of scalability for advertisers, while enabling top-tier leagues, teams, and publishers to better leverage their brands for a higher return.

  • The traditional television set is losing ground as the primary platform for watching video content – particularly with Millennials.

    On average, Millennials view four to seven hours of online video each week and, according to The New York Times, 57% of these viewers ages 14-25 and 43% of these viewers ages 26-31 elected to use computers, tablets, and smartphones to watch their shows in 2015.

    Traditional television usage among these viewers tumbled 10.6% during this period, according to Nielsen.

The outlook for 2016 and beyond

Traditional cable television may be going the way of the dinosaur, and I don’t mean to Jurassic Park. Those who’ve grown up in the age of wireless broadband will continue to consume more and more of their sports video content online when and where it is convenient to them, rather than when there is a confluence between the networks broadcast time and when they have the time to sit down in front of a television.

Leading brands and agencies are recognising this major market pivot and are ensuring mobile-optimised video content takes a lead role in their 2016 marketing programmes. With more top-tier digital content becoming available through sports-focused syndicators, ever improving performance transparency and credibility, as well as improving scalability through premium programmatic advertising mechanisms, the digital marketplace for sports video content will remain a hot sector for the foreseeable future.