American Marketer


Mobile video to accelerate mobile advertising value proposition

September 22, 2014

Tim Ware is vice president of mobile and connected television sales at Tremor Video Tim Ware is vice president of mobile and connected television sales at Tremor Video


By Tim Ware

Recent comScore data indicates mobile media consumption is the most used form of digital media consumption, which should intuitively correlate to a tipping point in spend. Yet, there still remains debate as our industry struggles to allocate traditional brand marketing dollars to this opportunity.

While we study location, search and programmatic ways to streamline and simplify mobile advertising transactions, the most immediate opportunity will occur within the mobile video space, which remains the highest growth medium in the digital landscape.

As such, it bears mentioning some fundamental factors to best leverage your video message.

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Whether brands elect to play in the comfort zones with premium off-network mobile video applications from the big networks and cable providers or elect to jump into the emerging, somewhat unknown and more fragmented space of mobile gaming publishers with upstarts such as Viggle or anime stalwarts, the opportunity is substantial.

Yes, I did write anime, those more familiar with the more popular types of digital video know exactly what I am saying.

Mobile video consumption is largely supplemental, so we should avoid saying “You’ll miss ‘em if you don’t advertise,” but conversely “You can drive a substantially greater lift for your brand’s campaign by diving into mobile video,” particularly if you do so thoughtfully.

Let us look at Facebook’s news feed ad opportunity.

Inserting mobile video within users’ updates exponentially increase the value of any mobile app publisher’s inventory, first and foremost serving video ads in place of mobile display ads. A simple ad exchange transaction should turn up a bigger return for publishers.

Will the 320x50 go by the way of the 468x60 – for those of you who recall the digital marketplace from the roaring ‘90s?

One factor that bares mentioning: this would be a risky execution for a pure-play publisher, since we live in an era that values engagement over disruption.

However, Facebook, with more than 1.2 billion users, has some latitude to deliver autoplay video ads and has the scale to change users’ mindsets. There have not been any widespread reports of user backlash, and while I am sure there are some, do not look for Facebook to retreat from its mobile video advertising pursuits.

Where does that leave the rest of the publishing world?

Long and short of it
It is a fairly safe bet that mid- to long-tail publishers far and wide will explore and soon adopt this unit, if they have not already.

There is always the possibility of a user revolt, and perhaps the marketplace will have to pivot, but look for this to continue with some tweaks and tactics that might vary.

Perhaps a traditional news publisher will eschew the auto-start in favor of user-initiated view. But the horse is out of the barn and this is a fundamentally simple idea with little downside and tremendous upside that can offset the mobile ad revenue to consumption gap.

If Facebook successfully moves this market, there is no shame in following and elevating the value of mobile advertising abroad.

As agencies and advertisers look to activate in the hottest growth mediums, expect a land grab for ad dollars.

Mobile and video ad tech providers can enable marketers to achieve all their multi-screen dreams. However, that utopia is slightly down the road and we must remain disciplined as we pursue our ambitions.

As different versions of the “right message in the right place at the right time” continue to be touted, it will remain slightly chaotic.

There will be some highly legitimate proprietary solutions on one end, a pack of sales pitchers in the middle, and at the other end, some pretenders looking to cash in on unsuspecting brands in the chaos of the moment.

AD-TECH COMPANIES throughout this ecosystem must remain disciplined and avoid the temptation of seeking short-term returns at the expense of long-term value.

The future is now. We must deliver value to realize all the value that mobile consumption is creating.

Tim Ware is vice president of mobile and connected television sales at Tremor Video, New York. Reach him at