Tech ad spending to reach $4.7 billion by 2017; Turns to Mobile, Social and Video

Despite slow growth, $3.21 billion will go toward digital ad spending in 2013

 Digital advertising spending by the US computing products and consumer electronics industry hit $2.83 billion in 2012, and that figure will rise to $4.66 billion by 2017, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Computing Products and Consumer Electronics Industry 2013: Digital Ad Spending Forecast and Key Trends.” Though industry revenues are experiencing slower-than-average growth, the industry’s top advertisers are focusing their marketing dollars on big-budget campaigns for their fastest-growing products: tablets, smartphones and other “smart” devices.

eMarketer estimates that marketers in the computing products and consumer electronics industry will invest 57% of their paid digital dollars in direct-response formats this year. Branding-focused efforts will make up the remaining 43%.

Targeted advertising in mobile, video and social formats is growing particularly fast as marketers redouble efforts to one-up competitors and establish themselves as undisputed technological leaders.

During the past several years, paid mobile advertising for tech-related products and services has surged, both in the US and globally. Millennial Media reported that tech industry spending worldwide for 2012 surged 294% year over year in Q3 2012, and the sector was responsible for 3% of total campaigns on the source’s network last year.

In addition, many tech firms have successfully seeded social video ads that have gone viral. Social video marketing firm Unruly Media reported that the tech industry accounted for 17.8% of the online social video ads shared on its platform in Q2 2013, up slightly from 17.0% in Q1 2013.

These efforts have helped digital video earn its place as the rising star among digital display formats. According to several industry experts, some marketers currently spend up to 20% of their digital ad budgets on online and mobile video ads. And as more inventory and more ad targeting capabilities become available, this percentage is likely to grow.

Industry marketers have also been hard at work on social networks, developing their presence as interactive hubs of brand and product information. A November 2012 study by research and strategy firm BrandSpark and Better Homes and Gardens found that electronics manufacturers were among the top 10 company types that US internet users followed on Facebook.

As marketers beef up these owned and earned presences, they are also devoting more budget to paid social network ads to make their carefully developed content more discoverable. “We have paid media on both Twitter and Facebook,” said Liya Sharif, senior director of global marketing at Qualcomm, and her company is using it to support its custom programs and in concert with other multichannel efforts. “It’s becoming important in two areas: for acquisition of fans and followers, and for engagement,” she added.

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40% Of YouTube Traffic Now Mobile, Up From 25% In 2012, 6% In 2011

it’s hard to get people to concentrate long on anything on their phones and tablets, yet YouTube seems to be the exception. The video service is quickly going mobile, with small screens making up 40% of its traffic now compared to 25% last year, Google said.  In 2011, just 6% of YouTube traffic came from mobile.

Google’s not the only one rapidly shifting a 1 billion+ user base to mobile.

To put its transition in perspective, Facebook said it had 819 million monthly mobile users (73%) out of its total 1.15 billion users in Q2 2013, up from 543 million (56%) of 955 million in Q2 2012, 325 million (43%) of 739 million in Q2 2011, and 155 million (32%) of 482 million in Q2 2010. Note these people used Facebook mobile at least once, but may also have used desktop. Facebook doesn’t share what total percentage of usage comes from mobile, but 41% of its ad revenue comes from phones and tablets, up from 30% in Q1 2013, 23% in Q4 2012, and 14% in Q3 2012.

As former director of product management tweeted today, YouTube has been investing in a great mobile experience for the web and Android for a long time, and more recently for iOS since it took control of the app back from Apple.

Specifically, Walk says YouTube formed the mobile team in 2007 before there was much demand for mobile or revenue there. It transcoded all videos to be able to be served on mobile formats, and did a deal with Apple to get a YouTube app pre-installed on the iPhone.

The increasing importance of mobile to YouTube underlines the need for it to work things out with Microsoftand get a high-quality app released for Windows Phone. After months of back and forth, Microsoft launched a YouTube app it created, but it didn’t meet Google’s standards and was shut down. Earlier this month, a much-stripped-down YouTube “app” for Windows Phone was released that merely boots users to the m.youtube.com mobile site.

The latest YouTube mobile product news includes its plan to let users save and watch videos offline starting in November. Before that, it launched multi-tasking in its iOS and Android apps, allowing people to minimize videos but keep their audio playing while they search and browse for more content to watch. That’s especially helpful for people who use YouTube’s vast library of music videos as a music streaming service. These have all been well-received, and no competitors seem able to challenge YouTube’s reign as the home of user generated video.

33% of tablet owners watch 1 Hour Of Video Content Per Day

In just a few short years the tablet has become a hugely popular second screen of choice for 33% of American adults, and while it may not be an essential item, its affordability means that it is within reach of an increasing number of users. New research from YuMe shows how we use our tablets and it’s no surprise to see that a third of of us devote an hour a day to them, with the minimum of distraction. As for video consumption, 100% of those tablet users surveyed confirmed that they watch videos at home, 66% watch videos on holiday, 22% watch videos while commuting or at work and 13% will watch video content while out drinking or dining.

33% of tablet owning adults will watch video for up to 1 hour a day on weekdays while 24% will watch up to two hours of content on the weekends. 8% of adults will watch around 4 hours of video content at the weekends, presumably due to less distractions.

Tablet use also lead to better recall of video ads, according to the report, with 57% of those asked able to recall a video ad without prompting. That compares favourably against the smartphone (49%) and the TV (45%). Advertisers that created mobile specific ad content were also perceived as being ‘cooler’.

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Over the past four years, the percent of American adult internet users who upload or post videos online has doubled from 14% in 2009 to 31% today. That includes 18% of adult internet users who post videos they have created or recorded themselves—many of whom hope their creations go viral. The share of online adults who watch or download videos has also grown from 69% of internet users in 2009 to 78% today, and mobile phones have become a key part of the video viewing and creating experience.

The increasing popularity of social networking sites and the proliferation of cell phones have helped spur the growing online video culture
The growing popularity of posting and watching online videos is a natural byproduct of the increasing percent of adults who use social network sites such as Facebook, as well as the proliferation of cell phones which make it relatively easy to watch, record, and post videos online. Fully 72% of online adults now use social networking sites, which provide a venue for video sharing and watching. The current survey shows that:

  • 71% of adults who post videos online do so on social networking sites.
  • 58% of adults who watch online videos do so on social networking sites.

Similarly, as the percent of American adults who own a cell phone has reached 91%4 , it is not  uncommon for adults to use these devices to participate in the online video culture. Among adult cell phone owners:

  • 41% use their phones to watch video.
  •  40% use their phones to record video.
  • 20% use their phones to post videos online.

More recently, apps have emerged which bring the convenience of cell phones together with the
popularity of online video. In the current survey:

  • 23% of adults who post videos online do so using a mobile app such as Vine.
  • 17% of adults who watch videos online do so using a mobile app

Walmart Turn To Online Video with “get on the shelf” original series

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and biggest private employer, has launched its first ever web series aimed at giving the American public the opportunity to decide which new products get to go on the their shelves, both on and offline. Wrapped up in a reality series format, the first episode features products from four U.S. entrepreneurs, picked from thousands of entrants to a crowd sourcing product contest. The four showcase their merchandise and the one that proves the most popular with the audience wins the chance to see the retail giant stock and sell it. There are five weekly shows in the series, the first one is launched today with the others following suit on a weekly basis through to October 22nd. Products included on the first show include a line of gourmet scented stuffed animals and a brilliant wheelchair for infirm or injured dogs. You can see the full list of finalists and their wareshere (Elvis Presley Bedding Collection anyone?)

Viewers can visit the Get On The Shelf site and vote online for their favourite product/entrepreneur each week. The series is produced by the digital studio team behind Shark Tank’s Mark Burnett so the format is a pretty tried and tested one. To drive further engagement, viewers are given just 72 hours after each episode goes live to vote. The winner, based on the amount of pre-orders gained, will receive additional marketing support from Walmart. You can see the first show here (at time of writing it’s still shown as unlisted on YouTube):

Kelly Thompson, Senior VP of Merchandising for Walmart.com is excited for the project and confirms that:

Get on the Shelf celebrates the resilient and tenacious spirit of American entrepreneurs, many of whom have been working hard for a big break like this. The web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories, which makes for captivating reality TV that’s also interactive since American consumers can vote for the next great product at Walmart.com.

Mobile TV and video revenues to hit $9.5bn by 2017 – More than double this year’s figures.

Juniper Research recently predicted that more than two billion people would be using mobile TV and video viewers by 2017, driven by better screens and more powerful processors.

The company now follows up by saying revenues from the market will reach $9.5 billion within the next four years, which is up from $4.5bn in 2013.

North America, Western Europe and the Far East and China, will be the top markets for mobile video consumption, generating more 80 per cent of the total revs collectively.

Meanwhile, Latin America is said to become an important market to watch for mobile TV, what with the World Cup and Olympics taking place in the region in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

The growth is attributed to users becoming more familiar with streaming and also paying via subscription or pay-per-title, such as via Netflix or iTunes. This will prompt the development of new business models.

Tapjoy project PopcornflixGold is one such option of an alternative mobile movie streaming service offering free films in exchange for ad engagement.

Mobile operators are set to face challenges in the streaming market, with pressure on network capacity and finding ways to profit from video and TV usage.

Sian Rowlands, report author, Juniper Research, said: “In order to be truly successful in the future, I think we will see players emerge who are prioritising their customers’ preferences; they will do this by utilising cloud technology, allowing consumers to resume playback on different devices, and enabling offline viewing.”

Just last week, BlackBerry teamed Crackle for a mobile TV push and declared mobile entertainment was important.

Rich Mobile Ads More Engaging on Facebook, Twitter

Rich media ads running on social-networking sites in mobile tend to outperform the same ads on regular mobile sites.

The findings come from mobile rich media provider Celtra. It analyzed 32 different campaigns with the same or comparable creative elements delivered simultaneously to select mobile sites, as well as in the Facebook and Twitter apps. The ads, which were built and served using the company’s AdCreator platform, ran during the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of this year.

Rich media ads running in the Facebook and Twitter apps had an interaction rate of 55.2%, four times that of the same ads on standard mobile sites. Time spent interacting with ads was nearly double in social media, with an average of 53 seconds versus 32 seconds on other sites.

The rich media units, which ran as Promoted Posts on Facebook and Promoted Tweets on Twitter, expanded full screen when tapped.

Celtra also compared the rate at which users completed a sequence of steps within an interactive ad. For example, one campaign asked users to create a drawing and post it to Facebook. That involved clicking on the ad, selecting a brand-related theme, drawing an image, previewing it, then posting it on the social network.

With an average completion rate of 15.9% to 1% for such ads, those displayed in social media proved much more effective than their standard rich media counterparts.

The video play rate was more than three times as high: 46.8% to 16.4%. The rate of social sharing through rich media ads was four times higher on Facebook and Twitter compared to non-social sites, at 27.2% to 7.1%.

“When it comes to engagement with mobile rich media ads, social media networks definitely have an upper hand,” said Matevz Klanjsek, Celtra co-founder and chief product officer, in releasing the study. He attributed the higher levels of ad interaction within social media to their focus on native ad formats designed to seamlessly incorporate ads into a user’s steam of updates.

Not all the findings favored rich media ads on Facebook and Twitter, however. When it came to engagement with location-based social features, standard rich media ads drive a much higher rate, at 11.3% to 2%. Interaction with photo galleries was also higher for ads outside social media, at 29% to 23%.

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Video ads are soaring — but only 5% are on mobile [report]

Online video ads are growing at a rapid rate but almost all of them are appearing on the desktop. Here’s some stats that also include a look at video ads on mobile and connected TV.

New ad industry figures claim the number of online video ads shown in the last quarter of 2012 grew an eye-popping 52 percent compared to the previous three months. This stat shows that TV dollars may be shifting to the web in force; this could also come as good news for publishers who are counting on high-value video ads to prop up their bottom line.

The figure was supplied by Videology, a provider of ad tools to agencies and marketers, the graphic below shows a snapshot of the industry. Highlights include a growing range of sectors that are buying video ads and increased use of behavioral data to target ads.

The other significant part of the report is that the vast majority of video ads ares still served on the desktop:

Videology screenshot

– Online remains the dominant platform for video ads: 92% of impressions went to online, while year-over-year mobile was up from 4% to 5%, and connected TV was up from 1% to 3%. Actual impressions by platform grew YOY, along with the overall market.

– More industries are using more online video ads: In Q4 ’11, 6 industries delivered 91% of video ads, in Q4 ’12 the number dropped to 72% as industries like electronics and restaurants accounted for greater levels.

– Video completion rates for viewers age 18-24 continue to be the strongest, while 65+ unexpectedly is the strongest age group for click-through rates.

Videology said that the mobile’s share of overall video ads  grew one percent in the previous quarter and that the overall growth in video means mobile is expanding rapidly. Unlike Google, Videology continues to consider tablets like the iPad as a mobile, not desktop, device for ad purposes.

The third category — “Connected TV” — refers to pre-roll video ads served on devices like Roku, Apple TV and Xbox. The 3 percent figure is up from 1 percent the quarter before.

These numbers shouldn’t be treated as gospel, of coure, as Videology has a stake in the video ad industry. But the company’s broad connections to marketers, publishers and agencies do give it a good big-picture view.

Going forward, it will be interesting to watch how quickly the above desktop-to-video ratio changes to reflect a world in which half of all internet viewing is expected to take place on mobile devices. At the same time, publishers will be watching closely to see if video ads can hold their high value as more inventory comes on the market.

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