The release of the iPad, the roll-out of 4G wireless networks with greater bandwidth, and the common availability of unlimited data plans are all driving the consumption and demand for mobile video. Overall, the number of mobile video users is predicted to increase to 95 million by 2015.
It is also becoming easier to produce and distribute mobile video. More mobile phones are in market that support video standards such as the H.264 codec, often represented via HTML5. This codec balances processor requirements, (battery life,) video quality and content size very well. HTTP Live Streaming technology now makes it easier to deliver dynamic pre/mid/post-roll advertising on Apple devices as well as video streaming via a basic web server infrastructure. The maturing technology increases available content, expands the audience for mobile video and makes it a more attractive mode of advertising. The advertiser can even reuse online video for mobile creative, driving down production costs.
However, mobile video has not become the norm just yet. Today nearly 50% of consumers are using mobile phones that do not support video. As smartphones continue to become the majority, this balance will shift.
As consumer’s demand for mobile video increases, Crisp Wireless advertisers have increased their interest in mobile video advertising. Advertisers are looking to use mobile video particularly with the iPad because of the uncompromising experience the device provides. Also, HTML5 allows for advertisers to embed the video window and provides APIs that give control and tracking capabilities surrounding activities around video play. This week, Apple announced the iPhone 4 with the new iOS 4. We expect this extremely high screen resolution (326 dpi) device to further improve advertiser demand for video.
Some best practices to consider if you are thinking mobile video advertising are as follows:
- Appropriately encode your video for the type of internet connection you will be utilizing
- Many mobile screens have a 1.5:1 aspect ratio, different from TV 4:3 or movie 16:9, so avoid pillarboxed and letterboxed viewing
- Leverage all of capabilities of the device you will be advertising on
- Avoid fast moving action, small text, and dark shots when creating a mobile video advertisement
In addition, some different formats to consider when designing a mobile video ad include:
- Click-to-video: Link from banner direct to video
- Ad with video: Video embedded in a full page ad, only as part of the creative
- Bumper: Very short video before or after other content
- Pre-roll: Typically about 15 seconds of video commercial before other video
- Mid-roll: Same during content
- Post-roll: Same after content
The outlook of mobile video advertising is filled with potential thanks to the iPad and similar devices allowing advertisers to embed videos and smartphones that support the tap-to-video format. As more and more smartphones support HTML5 video, costs will continue to deflate, eventually creating a CPM based model for mobile video ads. Premium content providers will continue selling sponsorship advertising for apps, encompassing mobile video ads.
Mobile advertising is highly effective, but measuring that effectiveness has been far too difficult. The reasons are well documented: multiple devices, online reports don’t translate to mobile, what you can measure technically varies from online given different forms of interaction (e.g. no mouseover), lack of standard definitions, etc.
In Phase 1 of Mobile Advertising (pre-2010), this lack of post-click analytics was fine; ringtone and other direct response advertisers simply wanted to sell product and could care less about engaging the user. But brand advertisers demand more – they want to know detailed information about how their campaigns perform well after the click (or tap).
It was good to see Kathryn Koegel call out Steve Jobs in Ad Age for talking about CTR (click-thru rate) as the way to measure iAd effectiveness. As she points out, "just admit it's a DR (direct response) business based on gaming and not some kind of brand engagement play as his ad examples showed. We all know about the fallacy of clicks as a pure measure of ad impact."
Crisp tracks metrics that matter to brands, and does so across platforms and devices. It’s probably the most important thing we do – delivering a unified report to enable agencies to measure their campaign’s effectiveness and optimize on the fly. Once dominated by performance ads, more and more mobile sites and apps now feature ads from Fortune 500 marketers. These top brands realize the importance of reaching their target audience on the most personal of devices. And now that they can track interactions like display time and video plays or incorporate games and surveys into mobile ads, they are hooked.
Emotion and magic are great for press events, but that’s not why brands are flocking to mobile. It’s all about the metrics.
Contact us if you’d like to see a sample report.
ClickZ to my knowledge is the first site to dedicate a 10 minute video (see below) to reviewing mobile ads. The fact that they reviewed only the Wired iPad app advertising in itself is worth noting in terms of how important the iPad is to advertisers and publishers. Since the video is long I’ll boil it down for you, they were unhappy with the lack of interactivity, and since there were so many ads in the app, and because print ads are not by nature interactive, it was probably really difficult for Wired’s sales team to do much. We’ve been a part of the process of digitizing print ads for iPad apps over the past two months and we thought it would be great to do a deeper dive into what’s in the Wired App and offer some perspective, pointers and thoughts on how advertisers could do better.
For those of you who couldn't attend OMMA Mobile today, you missed a great show. Crisp hosted a special breakfast workshop for brand advertisers entitled: Mobile Rich Media Advertising: Buying, Creating, & Measuring Campaigns. We've included the slides below. Questions? Want to learn more? Contact Crisp Sales at email@example.com.
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