Media buyers and sellers have different views on the future of mobile video advertising

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 8.25.14 AM rubicon

95% of media professionals believe that video advertising will overtake static ads in ad spending over the next five years. However, over a third of buyers and 42% of sellers say that shift is coming a lot sooner. To be precise, in two years time, as mobile video picks up speed and digital growth overcomes obstacles faster.

That’s according to new research from ExchangeWire, commissioned by Rubicon Project, which questioned 120 media professionals in the UK on their opinions about the future of mobile and video advertising.

Media professionals cite engagement as one of the core reasons for video’s steep climb to the top. 83% of buyers and 73% of sellers believe it captures audiences more than traditional banners.

Video engages audiences more than other formats

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.06.10 AM


However, not everyone thinks that publishers are pulling their weight in maximising the potential of mobile video ads. Buyers tend to view things a little more positively with 75% saying that publishers are doing enough to foster the rise of mobile video. However, only 40% of sellers would agree. The research suggests that this could be due to publishers being more cautious when it comes to testing relatively new formats. Indeed, losing revenue for content means that publishers are testing new monetisation models continuously, but video comes at a low CPM which could jeopardise that revenue stream.

But there’s certainly room to maximise mobile video as the majority of sellers would agree.

Publishers and mobile video

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.12.03 AM


When it comes to mobile video there are a myriad of factors holding back growth. Media professionals agree that a lack of quality inventory is the main obstacle, followed by weak tracking and measurement solutions as well as engaging, device-specific format options. Sellers are also finding it hard to find more information on the mobile video advertising format and are generally more worried about industry standards than buyers.

Obstacles holding back growth in mobile video

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.17.57 AM


Overall though, 83% of media buyers and 60% of sellers agree that mobile ads are offering greater value than desktop advertising. Buyers generally determine value by gains such as engagement, CPC and viewability, versus the cost. Low costs of mobile video mean better value for buyers. Whereas sellers are determining value by sales of impressions and lower costs mean lower sales for them.

Whats more valuable? Desktop or mobile?

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.23.59 AM


As far as partnerships go, both sellers and buyers are working with between one to six partners in mobile advertising. For buyers it’s become valuable to seek out various partners to cover their ad supply and offer different capabilities, whilst streamlining is more valuable for sellers and hence they tend to work with fewer partners. The report suggests that automation could be valuable for sellers in the future, by minimising costs.

When it comes to demand and supply, 68% of buyers are satisfied with the amount of mobile video ad inventory available to them. However, a majority of sellers begs to differ, stating that there’s not enough inventory around. That’s partially in line with their thinking that mobile video advertising has yet to reach its peak. Hence, inventory cannot be at an optimum.

Demand and supply

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.29.36 AM


So what’s the next big thing in video advertising? Well, that’s where things get a bit fuzzy. Sellers and buyers have quite different opinions on the future. For buyers, it’s going to be 360 video and VR, both of which are highly exciting areas in mobile, but perhaps sellers are feeling that the technology is not quite there yet. 33% of sellers believe that location is the next big thing. Ultimately, sellers are well in tune with the potential of data and deal with mobile video advertising formats on a daily basis, whilst buyers are focussing on the creative content of their campaigns. It doesn’t hurt to dream big.

The next big thing is…

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 7.33.56 AM


James Brown, Managing Director of UK & Nordics, Rubicon Project, concludes:

james brown

“Digital video is premium, inherently valuable, incredibly promising, worth brands’ and publishers’ creative and strategic energy, plus worthy of being a tentpole of brands’ digital advertising strategies. As technology partners and media sellers strive to provide brands with dynamic formats through which to reach consumers we hope to see these numbers grow as predicted, but for video advertising to truly reach its potential, it requires a collaborative, supportive approach from all sides of the ecosystem.”