Video Ad Evolution: 6-Seconds, 1st Party Data, Branded Content

There’s a tremendous amount of video ad evolution and experimentation taking place right now, as online video platform Ooyala’s 2018 State of the Media Industry report details: Facebook has found success with six-second ads which are well received on mobile devices, branded video content is on the rise, and successful targeting means consumers see ads as more relevant and high quality.

Video Ad Evolution“The absolute best thing that’s happening with streaming video ads? They’re getting shorter and ad loads are decreasing,” notes Jim O’Neill, principal analyst at Ooyala.
“Viewer dislike of massive ad breaks isn’t a generational thing, it’s something that applies across all demographic groups. While older viewers may be more willing to watch videos, it’s likely because they remain a little less technologically savvy and don’t know there are options to reduce or eliminate ads from their viewing experience.”

Increasingly, publishers are using their own first-party data to grow their ad businesses and deliver better relevancy to viewers. Hearst, for example, uses data to help brands deliver better experiences, while The Economist uses data to connect advertisers to audiences even outside its platforms.

“Aside from reducing the amount of time viewers are subject to ads, moves to personalize advertising—at least starting to—will deliver a better viewing experience,” O’Neill notes. “Showing an ad for gas-guzzling SUVs to a viewer who would much rather learn about eco-friendly vehicles is a waste of money. Using data voluntarily offered up through third parties, adding it to viewing metrics, and delivering ads that matter to viewers offers a much better ROI than mass-delivered messages. Increasingly, we’re seeing companies like credit-monitoring specialist Equifax and others offer up anonymized data about, say, specific neighborhoods or groupings of homes, to help personalize ads. Combine that with data collected from content delivery and consumption and you have an interesting shift in how brands reach their customers.”

As for video viewing, Ooyala’s report sees big things for small devices. Portables aren’t just for quick video snacks.

“Increasingly, we’re finding that mobile isn’t just supplementary to at-home viewing on the big screen in the living room. In many ways it has become the big screen,” O’Neill, says. “Over the past several quarters we’ve seen—in our quarterly Video Index reports—an increase in the amount of video being viewed on mobile devices, to the tune of 60 percent of all plays starting on mobile devices. In our most recent Index, set to be released in June, we’re also seeing an increase in the amount of video longer than 20 minutes being completed on mobile devices, something that’s changing as data plans get cheaper and more premium content—especially sports content—becomes available on phones and tablets.”

For more on the video ad evolution and the entire streaming entertainment ecosystem, download State of the Media Industry 2018 for free (registration required).


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