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What We Can Expect For In-stream Mobile Video In 2015

Since its entry to the ecosystem, by the sheer quantity (and quality) of consumer experiences, live-streaming video has captured the fascinated attention of both publishers and advertisers. Specifically, live streaming on mobile devices has already opened up millions more impressions over the past couple years, and is beginning to transform the way we watch sports, music and live events. The demand is there. So, with our eyes on adoption and with more superior ad tech now in hand, I believe 2015 is the year that this opportunity will significantly mature.

As tech innovation has made delivery seamless, the video ad marketplace is emerging in the digital environment. That said, in-stream video has yet to see its creative heyday. Let’s take a look at the video tech advances that promise to make 2015 the year that in-stream mobile video advertising takes off.

First, we have the technology to stitch ads dynamically as both pre-roll and mid-roll placements in live mobile video content, so the creative execution opportunities are only as limited as our imagination. Because these executions look less like advertising than banner or interstitial video ads, they are much more likely to engage and captivate users.

When placed in premium environments, premium mobile video produces high completion rates on ads, often upwards of 80%. Advertisers taking advantage of HD capabilities and customizable interactive buttons can further boost the engagement factor. Admittedly, there is still a lack of truly premium in-stream inventory in the marketplace.  As a result, there is an impact on the economics, with CPMs remaining high. With such high demand and limited inventory, in-stream has become one of the industry’s most sough- after methods of driving engagement.

For TV buyers who are not as familiar with digital marketing, in-stream video is the perfect solution to segue into the digital marketplace.  Methods for tracking and reporting on video mimic the broadcast experience—and, in fact, provide far more detailed results.

This brings me to one more trend likely to emerge in 2015. We have all seen that as “TV Everywhere” continues to rise, so does authenticated video viewing—and our industry’s clear capacity to monetize content. Cracking this code (somewhat) is exciting for our industry. Over the past few years, we have seen increased monetization across short- and long-form content that will continue to advance at a steeper pace and enrich our video ad economy.  The money is following the consumers.

FreeWheel just noted in its Video Monetization Report Q3 2014 that we have prematurely dismissed the growth of TV Everywhere. “As programmers put more content behind authentication walls, viewers are following in droves: 46% of long-form and live video ad views now come from authenticated users, up 368% year over-year,” according to the report. “Authenticated viewing has grown in lock-step with both the rise in live viewing and OTT devices, now accounting for 56% and 22% of all authenticated ad views respectively.”

It is encouraging that 46% of long-form and live monetization came from behind an authentication wall in Q3 of this year, greatly exceeding its low hum of 14% last year.

In summary, we are at the crossroad of consumer adoption and technical innovation.  The result will likely be meaningful growth in video consumption and advertising across devices.  Soon enough, we may look back on this stage as the last step toward true screen agnosticism and parity in video advertising investments.