4 reasons mobile video ad spend is growing, how publishers should respond


Mobile video is growing massively, both in terms of user interaction and, as usually follows, advertising spending in the area. With so many trends that often slow immediately as they become the industry “buzz,” I thought this blog post could explore the aspects that could mean mobile video is here to stay.

What has driven this trend?

  • Smartphone sales. Sales are ever increasing, more people are migrating from their desktops to mobile or tablet screens. As more consumers move towards mobile, brands — and advertising spending — will ensue.

  • Social network changes. Social has a huge impact on multiple aspects in consumers’ lives. Social and mobile particularly go hand-in-hand due to the fundamentally social characteristics of mobile.

    Two giants are improving their video offerings: Facebook autoplay – although not yet for brands – shows users are consuming more video through their newsfeed, and Twitter promoted video, which, the company says, will “bring more video into users’ timelines to create a richer and more engaging Twitter.”

    With this, mobile video engagement is bound to increase as viewing habits change.

  • Technology improvements. The introduction and uptake of 4G means that video is a more natural habit on mobile. Consumers are less frustrated by buffering while their (often short) videos load, and streaming is now a lot more instantaneous.

  • Consumers can create. Mobile devices are the new cameras, whether photographing or filming. Consumers constantly have their smartphones and can capture “of the moment” or planned pieces.

    This means there is more and more video content, meaning habits change for users to consume via these devices too.

What does this mean for brands?

It has consistently been highlighted that brands need to consider mobile and include it as a core part of their advertising strategy. Mobile video advertising has huge potential for success as the video ad completely interrupts and engages the user by taking over the entire mobile screen, assuming full attention from the consumer.

Therefore, getting the basics of mobile (e.g. mobile/optimised site) is still essential, taking into account creative considerations such as creating short, engaging pieces of video content rather than re-purposing 30-second television copy.

With this in mind, brands are able to use mobile video to tie up all media channels. More traditional channels such as print and TV can be enhanced by encouraging users to access and engage with video and additional content, either through media owners such as Shazam or Blippar, or through a more basic call to action (e.g. a mobile URL).

Newer channels, such as social, can be enhanced through organic video posting alongside promoted videos targeting the mobile consumer. Having a mobile video-specific media publisher to gain scale in the advertising strategy will also ensure that brands reach the right audience, in the right environment, at scale.

These opportunities all provide a new way for brands to reach their audience and cut through the ever more cluttered mobile advertising space.

As often happens when there is a huge growth in a particular area, it needs to be considered how effectiveness is measured.

Studies have shown that 70% of advertisers still buy PC video, which could be due to lack of measurement guidelines in place. The industry needs to create benchmarks for effectiveness of mobile advertising as a whole and, in particular, mobile video.

Whilst the International Advertising Bureau leads the development of standards, the organisation is still changing constantly, which is seen across the mobile landscape. For mobile video ad spending to increase and brands to fully capitalise on the opportunity here, we are in need of the same level of measurement and targeting that is available in “display and search” advertising.

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