"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in programmatic TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Tal Chalozin, co-founder and chief technology officer at Innovid.
It’s no secret that Facebook has put a major focus on video as a key part of its strategy, with significant investments in 360, virtual reality and live video, even adding video capability to comments.
The social giant is definitely on a path to becoming a video powerhouse. But unlike previous iterations of digital media, including search, social and display, viewers’ time spent watching video is split between many providers. This very large and increasingly popular video space is occupied by the likes of Google, Comcast, Netflix, Amazon and Apple, to name a few.
To understand where the ad budgets may be shifting, the advertising industry should not rely on only one publisher or platform. Sure, Facebook is a behemoth, but it is not setting the tone for all things internet.
For example, it’s rumored that Google’s YouTube is preparing to launch a skinny bundle as early as 2017, which will definitely make it a TV force to be reckoned with. Twitter recently won the NFL rights for streaming games, and it is also pushing for more streaming rights with other partners. And with one-tenth of Facebook’s daily active viewers, Snapchat has proven its strength with more daily video views than Facebook.
There are also many cable providers that should not be ignored, including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Sky (in Europe) and many others that are looking into internet video as the next step to fuel their growth.
Native video will continue to serve as a strong platform for advertisers wishing to integrate brands into the discussion, just as product placement does in television. We already see this in places like BuzzFeed and exciting vertical integrations via Snapchat’s Stories. Native video will thrive and, as a result, brands will begin to produce even more content, similar to the videos we see Red Bull and GoPro producing, or the beauty shows created by L’Oréal and the cooking content generated by Kraft with Tastemade. This next generation of video content will be the formula for brands to reach and engage viewers on any platform going forward.
Once a brand is integrated with the content, marketers can then leverage interactive video and other technologies to create a more immersive viewing experience. For instance, if viewers are interested in a cooking show on Tastemade, they can tap a button in an interactive video to see a Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe and download a coupon to buy the product. When Red Bull generates content around the Coachella music festival, technology can empower viewers to receive a digital coupon for a free Red Bull energy drink with the press of a button.
The bottom line is that marketers should not perceive the current TV and video situation as two separate sides of the scale, with television on one side and video on the other, and wait to see which medium will gain more weight. The rules of this game are being defined now and the winners will inevitably be those that try to find their own voice.
We’ll start to see more lines blur very soon between video and TV, with different qualities, lengths and production values. It’s significantly too soon to write off other players in the digital ecosystem because we are clearly in the early stages of video advertising, with much more exciting innovation still to come.