Will mobile video upend your media mix in 2016?

Mobile video is the fastest growing advertising medium

In terms of views, time spent, and marketing spend, the growth of mobile video is outpacing that all other media. It makes sense. We are visual creatures. We all carry high-definition video production devices in our pockets.

And it seems all of our favorite text- and photo-based mobile content sharing tools and sources—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—are adapting and offering native video playback and sharing capabilities. But is this a case of the leaders creating or following a trend?

Mobile versus TV: It’s David and his billions of cousins versus Goliath

The economics of TV are built on garnering a critical mass of views all at once. The worst-rated show on a major broadcast or cable network can reach millions of eyeballs within minutes of airing.

Marketers loved it. With the exception of a few breakout hits like House of Cards most online video content would likely take weeks, months, or years to reach those kinds of numbers—if it ever even came close. That made planning, buying, and verifying mobile video advertising seem like a far more complicated affair.

That’s why the growth in CPM commanded by mobile and online video advertising has historically lagged behind the growth in viewing rates. Marketers don’t like to let their budgets steep like a fine tea; they want it to pop like congratulatory champagne. But now mobile video–watching habits are reaching a critical mass that could flip that entire dynamic on its head. Let’s look at the numbers.

Most mobile Internet traffic is video.

Within five years, the world could have more mobile devices than it does people. And those devices will increasingly be the portal through which the majority find and consume video.

It is projected that by 2018, mobile video will represent 69 percent of all mobile traffic (up from 53 percent in 2013). Furthermore, most of the population experiences just over 50 percent of their lives online through the screen of a mobile device. And 18 percent of millennials declare themselves “mobile only.”  

But is mobile video a great advertising medium?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes, but much of the advertising industry is getting bogged down in the collective growing pains having to do with counting and measuring views and impressions.

Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the global advertising agency holding group WPP, seems to think that content distributors such as Facebook and Google are overstating views, thereby overestimating their effectiveness and value. The truth most likely lies somewhere between the two warring factions’ opinions. But there is no denying that mobile video represents an increasingly powerful way to connect with consumers. Take a look at WPP’s own chart.

Curious how you can get dialed-in to mobile video?

Since 1985, Magnani Continuum Marketing has made it easier for organizations selling in highly technical and complex markets to deliver the most effective and seamless traditional and digital brand experiences.

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Sources and further reading:

Mobile Traffic Will Continue To Rise, Rise, Rise As Smart Devices Take Over The World

At Least One Advertiser Thinks the Value of Facebook Video and YouTube is "Overplayed"