Anytime. Anywhere. Any device. As the distinction between the Internet and television begins to narrow, this new focus is being leveraged not only by the popular online video platforms we’re used to, but by best-in-class content providers like HBO and ESPN/Disney, and advertisers are noticing.
The Shift in Mobile Viewership:
Just last year, the amount of online video available to view on mobile and tablet devices would have taken three full years to watch. In 2012, less than one year later, the number is up to an eye opening 5.5 years, an increase of 83% and growing (according to media and communications research firm Wolzien LLC). The way we choose to view video online is changing right before our eyes, and so is the advertising that’s reaching us.
Major content and media providers are learning they can increase user growth by offering mobile platforms that reach their audience at any place and any time and one thing is becoming clear: consumers are willing to endure viewing ads and in some cases even pay for portability.
Whether through paid subscription services like HBO’s “HBO GO” or free to use ad supported platforms like Hulu, the preference to view content where and when we want is growing at an incredible rate. Even our living rooms are becoming smarter. According to DisplaySearch, by the end of 2015 over 500 million Smart TVs with internet connectivity will be in our homes changing not only the way we search for and consume content, but how and when brand messaging reaches us.
Reaching the Four Screens:
With popular new multi-platform products like ESPN’s “Watch ESPN,” what was once a distant concept is now a very clear reality. The option for a viewer to watch live coverage of opening tee U.S. Open Golf on their flat screen television over breakfast, continue viewing on a tablet from a bench in Central Park during their lunch break, and catch highlight coverage from their smartphone over dinner at their favorite restaurant is becoming the next generation way to view content.
Platforms such as HBO’s “HBO Go” offer a digital experience with intuitive navigation and interactive show extras tailored to enhance the mobile experience, encouraging users to keep coming back.
Given this new scope, reaching the four screens (TV, desktop, smartphone, and tablet) is playing a larger role than ever in digital strategy. Advertisers are eager to reach us outside of the living room. Here’s a list of peak viewing times for online video:
Desktops: Peaks at 12 noon.
Mobile: Peaks on commute home beginning at 5pm.
Tablets: Peaks between the hours of 9pm – 11pm
The Impact on Mobile Advertising:
How will this shift impact your mobile and digital campaigns? The convergence of television, the internet and mobile devices is reshaping traditional broadcasting into a model of “narrowcasting” which presents consumers with the right message, at the right time, in the right place.
As content providers and video platforms continue to expand their reach to a mobile audience at a rapid pace, users will become more comfortable viewing content on alternative screens, casting the net even wider for advertisers. HULU’s groundbreaking Ad Swap program is the first designed to allow users to choose or “swap” the ad they prefer to watch, instantly indicating relevance and intent, two critical real time metrics for conversion and ROI.
The transformational shift happening before our viewing eyes will only continue to benefit the end user, and with more new options on the horizon one thing is certain; we’ll stay tuned for more.