Taking on titans: mobile advertising to overtake TV by 2016
Taking on titans: mobile advertising to overtake TV by 2016
A view from Stephen Upstone

Taking on titans: mobile advertising to overtake TV by 2016

Mobile is set to overtake TV for ad spend but it is a wide-ranging channel and brands need to fully understand its scope to make the most of this increase in investment, says Stephen Upstone, CEO & co-founder of LoopMe.

Unlike banners or MPU style formats video transitions incredibly well across mobile devices

Recent eMarketer research announced that mobile advertising will account for 20% of total UK ad spend this year, overtaking print for the first time. But print doesn’t look like the only medium mobile will topple.  Television, the goliath of media, will be supplanted by mobile advertising as early as next year.

The study predicts that by 2016 TV’s share of total UK media ad spend will drop to 24.8% (£4.27 billion) while mobile advertising will rise to 25.5% (£4.4 billion). It may not seem like a large difference but by 2019 the gap is set to be a mile wide, with mobile projected to be worth a staggering £7.8 billion to TV’s steady £4.4 billion.

Direct reflection of consumer habits

The proposed trend is a direct reflection of consumer habits. The GSMA predicts there will be 5.9 billion smartphones in circulation worldwide by 2020 – illustrating the huge popularity of mobile worldwide and the reach mobile advertising has to offer.

The move to mobile is driven by a need to target users in the environments where they actually spend their time. Recent US research by Nielsen shows that the average millennial spends 63% less time watching TV and 73% more time on their smartphones than the average adult audience. According to Google, multi-screen content consumption has risen 500% in the last three years, audiences often multi-screen while watching TV, making mobile part of the TV experience. And where eyeballs go ad dollars must follow. To reach this smartphone-loving audience it is essential for advertisers to funnel more money into mobile advertising.

Mobile is a very broad term

But into which type? Mobile advertising is an incredibly broad term, covering everything from SMS marketing and banners to interstitials and search. Which area of mobile will drive the sector’s growth and prove to be the most effective?

According to the IAB’s H1 2015 UK Adspend report, mobile video is the fastest growing digital ad format, growing by 107% year-on-year, to be worth £126.1 million. Today the mobile video sector makes up a respectable 25% of the overall mobile ‘display’ market (as defined by the IAB). Mobile video may still have a fair way to go before it becomes the dominant mobile advertising format but the foundations have been laid and the opportunity is astronomical.

Mobile suits video advertising

Video is one of the most effective ad formats, the combination of audio and visual transmits brand messages in a way that’s impossible in any other medium. Think of iconic TV advertising campaigns – the Coca Cola Christmas ads, The Guinness campaigns, the Cadbury Gorilla – none of these would work as effectively as static images or audio clips. Unlike banners or MPU style formats video transitions incredibly well across mobile devices. This makes it easy to scale ad campaigns with no need to produce different creative for each operating system or device. For companies that own household brands with a wide audience, such as Unilever, Nestlé or Microsoft, this reach and scale is vital. Their customers are not the select few – they are in every home worldwide.

The reach afforded by mobile video hands brands another important advantage. They are able to overlay precise targeting without sacrificing scale. By using data, brand marketers can easily ensure their campaign will reach their chosen audience, whether that’s defined by age, demographic or location.

Artificial intelligence will be added to the mix

Going one step further, artificial intelligence can be added into the mix. These sophisticated algorithms employ machine learning techniques in real time, to ensure adverts are being positioned in environments which promote interaction, in front of the users who are most likely to engage, at the time they are most likely to interact with an ad. Artificial Intelligence ensures absolutely no impressions are wasted and the campaign is fully optimised.

Mobile, without doubt, will be a significant part of the future of the advertising industry. And the future of mobile will be video. Driven by data and artificial intelligence, while offering global reach and scale, it can offer brands everything they require for a successful campaign. There is no doubt in my mind that mobile video advertising is set to be the next industry goliath.