Modern technology races forward, putting more options for video advertising on the table in front of marketers. The ones that win through and stick around are going to be the formats that resist the temptation to put monetization ahead of user experience.
Although video remains a premium medium for engaging online audiences, there’s currently an explosion of new format and channel options coming up. Last week, Cologne hosted the Dmexco trade show, and vendors showed that the last 12 months had not been wasted when it comes to developing video inventory.
New Developments in the Market
Modern mobile data usage figures show that video is already hugely popular. Live streaming accounts for a huge segment of that usage. Platforms are expanding and launching to accommodate the public’s taste for video content served through devices.
Sports streaming company DAZN announced the opening of a new office in Amsterdam at Dmexco. It’s just the latest move in the provider’s bid to become the sports equivalent to Netflix. Twitch maintains a dominant position in the videogame streaming market. Dmexco also saw much discussion of HQ Trivia, the latest and greatest mobile gaming blockbuster. Opinion-makers agreed that the time was right for HQ Trivia to find some way to capitalise on its popularity.
A significant slice of the growing streaming market is accounted for by Instagram Stories and Facebook Live. The formidable social platforms attached to these efforts are seeking to go further by introducing their own video platforms: IGTV and Facebook Watch. The sheer volume of investment available to these giants allows them to tinker endlessly with their models. Facebook Watch remains a US-only playground, a fact that European advertisers continue to criticise.
Opportunities and Risks
With the sheer range of different developments hitting the video marketplace, it can be challenging for marketers to see real opportunities as they occur. Giants like DAZN, Twitch, and Vice have formidable audiences to offer up, but the interests of their watchers are narrow and will not suit the needs of every brand.
There’s also an undeniable element of risk to all forms of live streaming. The format makes it impossible to vet the content that will be served alongside a brand’s advertisements. There’s also a significant risk of user experiences turning negative due to uncontrollable interactive elements.
It is a concern for the integrity of their brands that keeps a lot of companies out of the streaming arena. All of the firms interested in video – publishers as well as advertisers – have a vested interest in maximising the quality of the content produced. For now, advertisers still have a heavy burden in that they must research new video opportunities carefully to ensure they match the needs of their brands.
New Content Sources
Dmexco did showcase a type of content that is insulated from many of the risks of streaming content. Third-party content is ready to be widely distributed. Content can be matched to existing pages with a high degree of relevance thanks to artificial intelligence. Stronger third-party distribution systems deliver the content that publishers don’t have the budget to create on their own.
Marketers can do a great deal with these new sources of video content. The content is very high quality, and the algorithms placing it are becoming very intelligent; both of these factors increase the likelihood that ads on this platform are viewed.
Though third-party videos solve many problems for marketers, they still have an obligation to protect their brands. Sites need to be carefully vetted. Trustworthy partners and white and blacklists can help verify that marketers are working with quality sites.
On a longer time scale, there are more video upheavals coming, particularly in the realms of in-transit media and digital out-of-home. Video content is finding more and more avenues to reach audiences. As the pool grows larger, the importance of securing effective placements for ads grows as well.
The last video news coming out of Dmexco had to do primarily with connected TV. The subject is broad enough to deserve its own in-depth investigation. In brief, though, companies with a vested interest in video content supply are the early stake-claimers in the CTV sphere. Some are going all-in while others are keeping out of it. It seems likely that over time, the CTV market will diverge even further from the online video ecosystem.
This is a golden age for marketers to make use of video. The sheer value of video, though, has made it complicated to find the most effective route to reach one’s audience. In the future, we predict greater opportunities arising outside the early ‘walled gardens’ and increasing vendor consolidation. Local agencies will continue to grow in areas such as video production in Nottingham. Wise marketers should not forget that context is just as important as content: they need to safeguard their brands and understand what sort of user experience they join when they try out new video platforms.