Expert Views on What will Become of Video Advertising in 2017

2016 has truly shown how dynamic an ecosystem the digital advertising industry is. There have been highs and lows, but it has certainly been memorable. In a series of features reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to what we can expect in 2017, ExchangeWire invite over 100 thought leaders from across the industry to share their views. In the latest series instalment, experts predict what to expect in video advertising in 2017.

Three key video trends

jalal-nasir-headshot“Social media live broadcasting will mature: as Facebook, Twitter, and others gain live audiences, more programming with pre-sold advertising will stream via these channels. Programmatic ads will follow; and, eventually, one major sport will sign an exclusive distribution contract with Facebook. In-article will kill in-banner video: a lack of video supply, combined with a surplus of video demand, has led to the reader nightmare of Small Player (in-banner) video ads embedded in display advertising slots. In-article (outstream) video ads are poised to offer video advertisers a less obnoxious alternative. Gross Rating Points (GRPs) will complete the journey from linear to programmatic: the media buying standard, the GRP, as a measure of the number of times an ad was seen by the target audience accelerates its move into programmatic video, especially as linear buying campaigns move to programmatic over ConnectedTV/OTT.”

Jalal Nasir, CEO, Pixalate

Live video will spawn micro-formats

erick-brownstein-shareability“We are going to see more and more examples of connecting the user’s digital world with the real world: from Shapchat geofilters, to AR (see Snapchat’s new ‘World Lenses’), to live-stream ‘events’. Shareable video content is going to find more places to live and reasons to live there. From beacon technology in retail that summons relevant content, to pre-packaged highlight reels being the new ‘concert video’, people are increasingly experiencing news, culture, and everyday life through short-form video. Live Video will grow, spinning off new micro-formats, while more often looking less like a live-stream and more like a show, includes interstitials, commercials, and pre-produced content. They will sometimes be completely pre-produced and just programmed live. The loss of Vine is going to focus the attention of innovative content creators on Facebook and Instagram. Many tweens and teens loved and flocked to that platform, so we’re going to see that generation bring some of that flavour with them (like they have to Snapchat).”

Erick Brownstein, CSO, Shareability

An increase in vertical & square video formats

Justin Taylor“2016 has been a coming of age year for video, we have been experimenting with different ways to distribute, discover, and engage across a range of screens and platforms. 2017 will see the (further) rise of outstream formats, alongside the more traditional instream. However, we will see an increase in ‘designed for device videos’ with more clients opting for Vertical and Square video (versus only Landscape and repurposed content) and creating videos that are relevant to these placements. Immersive experience formats will have their breakthrough year. As consumers, we are looking for an enhanced experience when we choose to engage. We will see the rise of 360 ads, enhanced video, interactivity, shoppable, and dynamic real-time editing. We are starting to see the green shoots of why consumers want to view live content and create live content – however, audience size has been limited and, thus, less appealing to brands. We will see scale and context opportunities for live grow through platforms such as Teads. As with any opportunity, video’s growth has not come without its challenges. 2017 will see standards redefined. We need to continue to champion user experience and the work of the trade bodies (such as IAB) is going to be vital to help drive this need.”

Justin Taylor, UK MD, Teads

A focus on ‘snackable’ content

Andrew Buckman OpenX Headshot“This year, spend on mobile video advertising skyrocketed. This trend will continue into 2017, and I predict to see some key developments in video ads. Firstly, they will be shorter. As consumers’ attention spans continue to reduce, brands will focus on delivering ‘snackable’ content – five-second videos that condense marketing messages into short, snappy ads. These formats are lighter and faster to load, and could even slow the growth of mobile ad blocking by improving the user experience and saving precious data. In addition, we’ll see more publishers using HTML5 VPAID across all channels – mobile, desktop, and tablet – as Flash video becomes obsolete.  As brands become comfortable with the technology, we’ll see a new wave of creative and interactive campaigns. Finally, header bidding will become a popular tool for video inventory – extending its benefits of fair pricing, transparency, and efficiency to these formats. Spread across a fragmented marketplace – and scarce in supply – video impressions are rarely exposed to the majority of programmatic demand. By opening up demand, we expect header bidding will transform the video advertising marketplace.”

Andrew Buckman, Managing Director EMEA, OpenX

oded-napchi-hiro-copy2017 will not be the year of the mobile video

“Every year we expect mobile video to explode – and every year it doesn’t happen. We believe that 2017 won’t be different than previous years because it’s not the technology that stands in the way, but rather it’s the business side of things that serves as the roadblock. As long as the cost of mobile data in the US stays sky high (unlike in France, for example), the leap won’t come.”

Oded Napchi, CMO, HIRO Media

Attribution products will dominate video

Nick Reid | TubeMogul“The big prediction for next year is that measurement and attribution will be the buzzwords everyone is talking about. How will we measure success? How do we evaluate our spend on the various channels – and which mediums really matter to the end consumer? Following the launch of our AdSwap placebo ad product earlier this month, we anticipate attribution products to dominate our product launch calendar throughout 2017. Marketers need to know their efforts are having an impact and achieving brand lift. Next year will bring continued ambition for automation and measurement from a cross-screen and device point-of-view – and it will be our goal to meet those needs.”

Nick Reid, UK MD, TubeMogul

Agencies will need to produce video variants for each media environment

programmatic native“This year will see advertisers future-proof their video strategy for mobile. We won’t see the end of the 30-second TV spot (yet), but brands have realised that the previously captive TV audience is spending more time on mobile, and that requires a different creative outlook. This requires agencies to adopt a multi-channel creative approach, producing variants of their video designed for each media environment. For example, creating a high-impact opening sequence and adding captions for the silent autoplay mobile experience that native video has popularised. This will, in turn, force media agencies to evaluate the impact of different user interactions with video and look at deeper indicators of attention and brand impact, building similar frameworks to the recently launched Moat Video Score.”

  Ally Stuart, Strategy Director, Sharethrough

It’s all about engaging consumer experiences

mick-loizu-michail-ysahoo“Video content is evolving as consumer habits change and we’re seeing a trend towards simple, ingenious online videos that capture viewers’ imaginations. Audiences are using a number of different devices to consume news and entertainment; and, in 2017, we’ll begin to see a format shift from horizontal to vertical video. Horizontal video is a legacy of TV and cinema; however, on mobile, vertical video becomes a better user experience. I’m personally very excited for the next year in video. One of the main challenges for brands in 2017 will be making highly engaging experiences in AR and VR. With the emergence of better augmented and virtual reality experiences, users won’t just watch a story unfolding in future ads, they’ll have the opportunity to be in it. The real winners of the coming year will be those who learn to maximise these technologies for a seamless user experience.”

Mick Loizou Michail, Director, Native Ads Solutions, Yahoo EMEA

Ubiquitous 360 video content

david-hillier-adform“2016 was a breakthrough year for 360 video content; 2017 could be the year it becomes ubiquitous. However, we’re still missing more landmark examples of the format in action to take it past the tipping point, a gap that adventurous brands will surely be trying to fill in the year ahead. Brands that create more immersive video content could benefit from the introduction of ‘repeat view’ metrics as users absorb video content multiple times to see each part of a story. This type of innovation will reward brands that put the time and energy into storytelling and creative, with the continued growth of cross-device targeted video helping them reach audiences with greater precision than ever before. All of this will translate into a wider range of opportunities for using both short-form and long-form video content in 2017; and I’d expect the industry to take huge strides forward in grasping which tools to use and when to use them.”

Dave Hillier, Creative Lead, Adform

Widespread use of dynamic creative in newer video formats

kelsey-meuse-sizmek“This year, marketers came to understand that data could be used for more than just targeting their media buys. They have come to recognise that using data in order to inform the actual message that is being shown to the user, through the use of dynamic creative and other tactics, is not only possible, but necessary, for display campaigns. In 2017, we will see the widespread proliferation of dynamic creative within other formats, like instream and outstream video ads. While these higher-impact executions were once reserved for premium direct placements or publisher sponsorships, new availability via private marketplace and even the open exchange will further fuel the adoption of dynamic creative in video.”

Kelsey Meuse, Product Marketing Manager, Dynamic Creative, Sizmek

Mobile video + OTT (CPI) will become a brand medium

jay-prasad-videoamp“No longer just for game and app downloads, large brands will begin incorporating Cost Per Install (CPI) or Cost Per Action (CPA) metrics within their attribution model. Mobile provides the unique ability to drive immediate user actions. In 2017, brands will utilise CPI metrics to formulate implantation strategies and contribute to overall campaign impact. Video within app experiences can tell brand stories while creating calls to action in a way that other mediums can’t match. When you combine the reach of mobile apps with data that can be connected to a device graph, mobile video with CPI takes on new strategic value to advertisers. More brands will create app content to engage their customers and continue the trend of brands becoming publishers.”

Jay Prasad, Chief Business Officer, VideoAmp