Multi-screen users spend as much time watching video on mobile as TV, but ad spend lags behind

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According to new research from MillwardBrown, mobile media ad spend is still far behind actual viewing behaviours on smartphones. The AdReaction video study, based on the answers of 13,500 multi-screen users aged 16-45 across 42 countries, highlights how users are turning to their mobile devices to view video (52%), whilst media spend for the format is predicted to grow just 9% in 2017 from 2014.

Mobile media spend trails actual screen share minutes

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Source: millwardbrown.com

Whilst overall video viewing on TV still outweighs that on mobile devices (by 103min to 65min per day respectively), smartphones are now the primary device for 16-24 year-olds to view video. Age groups 25-45 are viewing predominantly on live TV, with smartphones in second place.

Smartphones are top viewing devices for 16-24 year olds

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Source: millwardbrown.com

However, live TV may be on its way out as more consumers turn to select specific programmes, watching only their favourite shows (53%) or catching up (33%) on missed programmes. Social media also inspires 31% to seek out content, compared to 30% of live views.

Audiences are generally more positive towards video ads which are based on their interests (41%) or the brands they like (40%). Ads based on browser history are seen as less positive. However, the findings are contradictory, since much of a person’s interest would be part of his/her browser history.

Ads based on consumer interest seen as more positive

adreaction

Source: millwardbrown.com

Whether it’d be TV or mobile devices, most people view content at home. However, smartphones are a lot less social, with 66% of consumers viewing content alone, compared to 37% for live TV.

The study also found, that across all 42 countries, people are more receptive towards TV ads than smartphone video ads. 49% perceive video ads on smartphones as negative, compared to just 33% on live TV. This is largely due to audiences being more accustomed toward TV advertising and is likely to change over the next few years as mobile technology becomes a more important part of multi-screen viewing behaviours.

Mobile devices video ads are still perceived as negative

adreaction

Source: millwardbrown.com

However, marketers should take note, that audiences are more positive towards ads they feel they have control over. Rewarded in-app video ads are receiving more positive feedback (49%) than mobile app pop-ups (14%). Giving users the option to skip ads also works favourably towards ad perception.

Skippable and rewarded ads are preferred

adreaction

Source: millwardbrown.com

In addition, branded video content such as tutorial videos or reviews are generally not perceived as advertising and gained favourable responses from consumers.

Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst, MillwardBrown, says:

nigel hollis

“When the ad is in a click-to-play format, such as on Facebook, the reality is that most people do not click. Here the initial frame and introductory text is crucial, but then the ad needs to deliver on the promise of that set up. For ads likely to be seen on mobile devices, the guidance is even more basic: bear the screen size in mind, and ensure that things that need to be seen for the ad to work (such as brand logos) are clearly visible.”

In addition, MillwardBrown found that funny ad content generally prevented users from skipping them (37%). Another way to engage users is by capturing their attention within the first few seconds of a video as otherwise skips are likely. If given the choice, most consumers do not click to play.

Facebook click to play behaviour

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Source: millwardbrown.com

However, advertisers can help drive clicks by adjusting their introductory texts to be highly engaging and acting on this promise within the first few seconds of the video. For mobile video ads, size and length of video also matter.