It’s that time of year again, so like many others we’ve dusted off our crystal ball to put together our 2016 video predictions.
A year older. A year wiser.
For years the traditional media and television industries have understood the value of using third party content to complement that which has been produced internally. 2015 saw savvy publishers begin to adopt this approach to solve their inventory shortages and 2016 will see this trend become mainstream. Publishers without premium content will be left behind and with the ad blocking bandwagon set to roll into 2016, publishers need to give users additional reasons to love them now more than ever.
Yes, the mandatory data prediction – but there is substance here. Understanding what content users are interested in and presenting them with relevant video simply makes sense. 2015 saw some publishers dabble in this but 2016 will see greater adoption of this approach. JW player has just announced a unique video recommendation engine and expect to see and hear more of this in 2016.
For too long many publishers have bolted irrelevant video onto articles or created video sections or channels that act as dumping grounds for a whole range of video content. In 2016 we will start to see an increase in the number of publishers using contextual solutions to offer users video content that matches what they are reading or consuming at any moment in time.
OK so ‘”war” is a stretch, but heretofore one of the quick fixes to video inventory shortages has been for publishers to embrace outstream formats. The attraction is clear. No video inventory or content? No problem. Simply place a piece of code on your site and start delivering video ads. However 2015 saw advertisers and agencies start to correct the market with lower CPM valuations for outstream and many citing outstream as glorified display advertising. With user experience now at the fore of publishers’ advertising and content strategies, the emphasis will be on pre-roll in 2016. An outstream-only strategy was a band-aid, but contextually relevant pre-roll is the cure.
Increased premium inventory.
Overall there will still be video inventory shortages in the market, but with moves like that made by GroupM with regards to tighter viewability standards and ongoing industry efforts regarding ad fraud, we will see a growing volume of premium (viewable) inventory enter the market in response to these moves.
As premium video inventory increases and poor video quality inventory is culled, this will inevitably lead to an increase in average video CPMs. This is however good news for savvy advertisers who understand that fishing in the lower CPM pools is a false economy and great news for smart publishers who put premium, advertising-friendly content at the top of their list of new year’s resolutions.
Best in class trumps convenience.
As the video advertising and content industry grew over the past few years, many publishers sought out convenient, bundled solutions consisting of video player, streaming, content and monetization, or a similar combination. As the market has matured the trend is towards working with best-in-class providers across each element of the video stack. For forward thinking publishers, premium solutions will always trump convenient mediocrity. Expect to see this trend continue into 2016.
Shorter, made-for-the-medium video advertising is required and thankfully this is starting to happen – at least at a small scale. Given the tandem explosion of mobile and ad-blocking this can’t happen fast enough. Expect to see brands begin to demand more from their agencies, smart agencies getting more creative in their approach and publishers setting tighter guidelines as to what creative they will accept.
The consistent theme running through much of this piece is the user. If as an industry we consistently deliver users the right content, with relevant and respectful advertising, all wrapped up in a satisfactory user experience, then the rest will look after itself. Well not quite – but it would be a great start!
Enjoy the 2016 ride.