Over half of advertisers in the UK believe immersive mobile video ad formats drive future revenue

45% of advertising buyers expect to increase their digital video spend by at least 25% this year, according to the latest State of the Industry Video UK report by AOL Advertising.

Largely driven by advances in technology and at the expense of TV, the rise in mobile and digital video is making a mark among the advertising landscape with 55% of UK buyers and sellers considering 360-degree video formats to offer the best revenue streams over the coming 12 months. Branded video content is another top format considered by advertisers (57%) to offer excellent revenue returns.

Among the leading challenges for advertisers to buy branded video content are quality concerns (46%) as well as proof of ROI (38%) and a lack of standards measurement metrics (38%). Cost and video ad unit lengths are also of consideration (29%).

However, consumers aren’t sharing enthusiasm for these formats, with just 20% of them watching virtual reality (VR) videos once a week compared to a 28% global average. 68% of Brits said they never watched VR videos; and though 58% of advertisers are planning to buy VR or AR formats this year, just 9% of consumers expect to actually watch these formats in 2017.

Among the leading reasons for consumer caution in VR are a series of misconceptions such as computers not being powerful enough to cope with VR (39%), as well as VR headsets being only for gamers (38%).

The report also found that mobile is certainly to blame for 71% of consumers now viewing digital video on a daily basis. Indeed, consumers agree that their smartphones are invaluable, and 52% of them said they viewed videos on their mobile phones daily.

Live video appears to be an up and coming format with 73% of consumers having viewed live content and 68% of advertisers planning to invest more in live video this year.

More consumers are now also viewing short-form mobile videos with 64% of them saying they watched videos shorter than one minute each week.

The same goes for mobile and digital video ads – the shorter the better, according to consumers. Pre-roll video ads are well tolerated, but shouldn’t be longer than 15 seconds in a one-minute video. As video formats get longer, the length of ads tolerated increases.

Generally, 63% of consumers are happy to see a brand advertisers if the content is interesting. Similarly, most agree that quality matters (59%).

However, advertisers shouldn’t take this as a free pass to push ads to consumers as 71% of them also prefer to have the option to skip an ad before watching online video. Generally, 64% want more control over the ads they see.

Accordingly, advertisers are moving their budgets to mobile. Indeed, 61% of marketers are moving their TV advertising budgets to mobile video and 59% to desktop video.

For buyers, enhanced targeting and personalisation options for video are driving the increase in digital video growth (50%). Better quality of content (47%) and creative (43%) are also important features.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 79% of advertisers foresee programmatic video spend to increase this year compared to 87% of publishers.

It seems the future of video is digital and mobile. Therefore, advertisers and publishers must prepare to make the necessary investments to boost consumer experience and confidence.