2015 brought with it an interesting dynamic in the media industry — on one hand, consolidation, with an M&A uptick as the Goliaths swallow up smaller successful ad tech businesses. On the other, fragmentation, with ad tech players large and small fighting harder — and smarter — for a larger share of the digital ecosystem.
In 2016, walled gardens will increasingly take the lead, using their coveted audience data to grab a lion’s share of the young audience’s attention and continue to innovate with new ad formats and features attractive to advertisers.
Brands will have to navigate this new “ownership” of audience and the accompanying ownership of behavioral data. The future is an app-centric one, with only a single swipe between consumer consideration and deletion.
We’ll see experimentation with alternative ad units beyond the traditional video pre-roll, strongly driven by walled garden platforms’ continued efforts to differentiate their products.
This means that advertisers and agencies will be required to put more effort into creative that resonates on these platforms — the commodity buying of media will become much more difficult.
As access to premium audiences — particularly millennials — becomes even more exclusive, guaranteed reach and high-quality inventory will be bigger priorities for advertisers than ever before, driving publishers to offer 100% viewability and explore implementing time-based metrics as standard.
Industry-wide we’ll see viewability metrics and other KPIs replace TV-style KPIs as a currency. Advertisers will start to define their own metrics based on what they care most about — e.g. completed video views, with audio, targeted at F18-34 demographic — and will only be willing to pay publishers on this basis.
TV may still have a larger share of the global advertising market, but only because looking at video platforms as siloed competitors pitted against one another does not allow the heralded reach of TV.
To enable digital video advertising to deliver on its full potential — reach, intent-driven viewing, engagement, and targeting — in 2016 marketers will consider the major video platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, in unison.
Cross-platform video campaigns that leverage the unique strengths of each platform, and consider the implications that each has on the entire buying cycle, will be the Achilles heel of TV.
This post previously appeared on December 15, 2015 on MediaPost.