Zenith: Advertisers Will Pay Big Bucks For Premium Video, But Screen Size Matters

PayPlayAdvertisers are willing to pay a “substantial premium” on nonmobile video ads, according to a ZenithOptimedia video ad spend forecast issued Monday.

Despite the fact that more consumers watch video on their mobile devices, video ad spend hasn't grown with quite the same gusto.

“Mobile is the dominant platform for consumption, but it won’t become the dominant advertising platform for another two years,” predicted Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting for Zenith.

“Even though it’s pretty obvious an audiovisual ad will have more impact on a larger screen, [we've found] advertisers are willing to pay a continued premium for advertising on the larger screen.”

While consumers average 19.7 minutes per day viewing videos on smartphones and tablets, compared to the 16 minutes each day on desktop or smart TVs, the majority of video ad dollars are still spent on these “fixed” devices.

Nonmobile video ads, according to Zenith, account for 68% of all online video ads in 2016, which is down from 75% share in 2015. But by 2018, mobile and nonmobile video ad spend will be split closer to 50/50.

One reason for the current disparity is that marketers want to invest in a specific format type (no autoplay, muted, or below-the-fold video, in some cases), audience and ensure they have good screen real estate. 

For instance, when buying Hulu, an advertiser knows they’re getting a slightly older millennial cord-cutter who has more discretionary spend.

Other advertisers want a certain threshold of completion as well as proven effectiveness around brand lift, which a video format like YouTube’s TrueView promises, Barnard said.

But since more of these impressions are happening on mobile, it should help even out the split between mobile and nonmobile video investments.

Digital video still dominant

Over-the-top TV may attract marketers in search of a full-screen experience, but Zenith projects digital video all around (including desktop) to continue to accelerate.

In most major markets, Zenith has found that advertisers continue to view their digital video investments as an incremental buy or complement to TV, rather than a replacement.

But in some cases, marketers simply repurpose 30-second TV spots for social platforms like Snapchat or YouTube, which isn’t as effective as tailoring short-form videos for each individual channel.

“[Original] video content requires more advertiser and agency resources, [and] there are innovations in technology to bring down the cost of production,” Barnard said. “You’re seeing automated personalization and the like, which is making it easier for brands to make use of the unique attributes of each platform.”


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