The Real Future of Video Lies in Interoperability & an Open Marketplace: Q&A with James Brown, Rubicon Project

In August 2016, ExchangeWire Research produced a report, in association with Rubicon Project, analysing the truths of UK mobile and video advertising. ExchangeWire speak with James Brown (pictured below), MD UK & Nordics, Rubicon Project about some of the findings of the report, and some key insights into mobile and video advertising, to help to understand future adoption.

ExchangeWire: Lack of quality inventory is the biggest factor holding back the growth of mobile video advertising. How can the inventory be improved upon to change this perception? 

James Brown: I think there are a few things here that can work to improve inventory across the board:

- Education: There is already a wealth of quality mobile video inventory available; but buyers and advertisers need to be made aware of this, rather than the inventory needing to be improved.

- Collaboration: This is key – if sellers can discern from buyers what their requirements are, they can then work closely with technology partners to create a rich, varied advertising environment that brands want to play in.

- Streamlining: Working with scaled tech partners who are able to support all digital platforms and formats will drive the digital video ecosystem forward, rather than further complicating the process by engaging with multiple point solutions.

More than four-in-ten media buyers (43%) think 360 video will be the next large video growth area, compared to just 29% of sellers. On the other hand, 33% of sellers think location-based video will be video’s future, compared to 11% of buyers. Where do you think the future of mobile video advertising lies? 

James Brown, MD UK Nordics, Rubicon Project

Location-based video and 360 video will be significant growth drivers, as video becomes further optimised for mobile devices. However, the real future lies not with one specific video format, but in an increased interoperability between technology systems and an open marketplace that reduces friction between buyer and seller transactions. When we look a little deeper, the largest growth drivers in programmatic video are in Private Marketplaces and Guaranteed Orders. This will all continue to stimulate the growth we’ve already seen in the video sector – the future of mobile video advertising lies with technology, creativity, and scalability.

Media buyers are of the opinion that publishers are doing enough to foster the growth of video advertising in mobile and desktop (72% and 75% say ‘yes’, respectively). Comparatively, only 40% of sellers think they are doing enough to foster the growth of video ads on mobile, and 44% on desktop. Why do you think there is such a discrepancy here?

Currently, media buyers would appear more happy with the way things are going in video, as they are migrating to video advertising at their own pace. As video advertising grows and becomes properly established as a primary channel in which to allocate spend, buyers will demand more of video and increased capabilities within the medium. On the other side, sellers are seeing the growth of video consumption and, consequently, video advertising through the likes of YouTube, and more recently Facebook Video and Snapchat. As video content consumption grows, sellers are looking to capitalise on this relatively nascent growth area, and ensure they capture as much of these budgets as possible rather than being absorbed by the likes of Google and Facebook.

One-in-four media professionals think video ad spending will eclipse static in two years. More than nine in every ten (92%) think it will happen in five years. Do you think it will happen sooner, or later? What needs to happen to drive quicker adoption?

The fact that almost all in the industry see it eclipsing static ad spend within five years is quite telling. While I can’t place a definitive date on when video ad spend will eclipse static, the growth we’re seeing across the industry, and especially on our own platform, is indicative of a major shift in spend to video. As marketers become increasingly accustomed to the exciting opportunities video brings outside of the major tech giants, this momentum will only continue to gather pace.

The report, 'UK Mobile & Video Advertising Truths', by ExchangeWire Research, in association with Rubicon Project, is available for download.