Media marketing and advertising has undergone major changes in the past decade.Through the growth of broadband WiFi and new digital and social networks, technology has created vast new opportunities for communication and has evolved consumer touch points, creating new levels of audience engagement.
Mobile technology has also been an engine of change for media marketing and content distribution. As consumers look for more flexibility in how and when they access media, mobile consumption has grown exponentially. In parallel, devices and networks have improved to meet this demand, creating new media revenues and marketing opportunities.
New research from Ovum and Intel has predicted that within the next decade, media and entertainment companies will be competing for wireless revenue opportunities worth $1.3 trillion, thanks to the introduction of 5G networks. With download speeds of up top 20GB (more than 1000 faster than a typical 4G connection today), the report predicts that by 2025, the majority of global mobile media revenues will be generated by the ultra-fast 5G network. So how will media marketing look in this landscape?
1. Mobile video content will evolve…and consumption will accelerate
Today, more than 75% of all US video views are on a mobile device, and this number has grown consistently for the past 5 years. In developed markets, consumers look at their mobile phones more than 150 times per day, with that number increasing to 300 times per day for 18-25 year olds. Mobile media time is now up to 2.5hrs per day on average in the United States, eclipsing linear TV for younger demographics.
Consumers regularly use mobile devices to browse video on the go across an array of social media platforms and mobile apps, on top of extensive use in the home on local WiFi networks. Media companies are capitalizing on this behavior by offering premium video content for free on social platforms, mobile apps, and websites, driving consumers to higher value OTT and paid subscription services. The sustained growth in short-form video viewing on social platforms creates new revenue opportunities too, such as in-stream and pre-roll video advertising now available on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Utilizing 5G networks, latency and buffering will be vastly reduced and organizations will be able to deliver video in hi-res, VR, AR and 360, making these services more accessible to consumers across multiple devices and platforms. Publishers face stiff competition for online video views and those that develop the most engaging and innovative video experiences will capture the largest digital audience.
In 2025 media companies will need to offer a wide range of tailored video content across platforms to remain relevant and win new customers. Online video is already an important marketing tool, but as network speeds and download times become less of a concern for consumers, improving video production and distribution strategies will be critical to success.
2. Social & streaming video will lead the way
Social media platforms are rapidly moving towards video-focused services, keeping users active for longer by expanding to become a destination for entertainment as well as networking and communications. YouTube was the first global video platform, but Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youku and Bytedance have all built out substantial video offerings; in fact in 2017 Mark Zuckerberg stated that “Facebook will be mostly video within the next 5 years.”
The viewing habits of younger generations, Millenials and Gen Z, are driving this change. Video-based platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram are fast becoming the app of choice for these demographics, with Facebook and Twitter working to compete for users by developing advanced video offerings. However, all are still a long way off from competing with YouTube, as more than 1bn hours of YouTube videos are watched daily in 2018.
As more consumers access 5G, real-time video content on social media apps will grow even faster. By 2025, consumers will expect a range of choice in how they access video and social will lead the way in achieving high levels of reach. Live broadcasts will become popular, as communal online watching becomes the norm and buffering issues become a thing of the past.
Viewers on social are already highly engaged in live video, watching for longer as they comment, discuss and participate with the content. Audiences for Facebook Live generate 3x more comments that VOD videos with watch times more than 10x longer on average. Live polls and audience interaction will be key in winning and retaining viewers. Media companies will need to offer memorable live experiences across social media, as well as real-time clips and highlights, to keep consumers interested in their content.
3. Social video will drive direct sales
The question of “where can I buy that?” will be a thing of the past in 2025. Currently, Instagram and Snapchat allow publishers to include links to ecommerce sites within images posted to the site, but with 5G network adoption, marketers will be able to utilise social video to include links to products & services (including OTT subscriptions). This capability, along with interactive features such as voting and live data, will drive deeper engagement and longer watch periods.
Video content will soon be an essential feature for any online marketplace or service. Media and entertainment providers will be able to combine this with content and network propositions, offering premium content in the form of interactive live streams or short clips, with marketing options to drive consumers to premium OTT subscriptions and other commerce channels. This will also open up opportunities for brand partnerships, offering more value for sponsors and drive ROI with measurable metrics on brand impact and conversion.
4. AI will help curate the customer journey from the beginning
As the quality of video and networks increase so will the development of AI-assisted video production. By 2025, we expect automation to be a key part of video production workflows. Editors will be be able to define triggers and context-variables that will allow the automatic creation of clips and highlights from live feeds, reducing the time it takes to create real time updates for live events, such as sports, music festivals or entertainment award shows.
AI will also help consumers to find more relevant content. As algorithms improve across social media, discoverability will improve for organisations producing the right content. As 5G drives digital video consumption growth, AI will enable digital teams to keep up with demand.
5. Mobile ad spend will continue to grow
According to eMarketer, digital ad spend will topple 50% of global ad spend by 2020. If you break down today’s digital ad spend, mobile ads already account for nearly 70% of total spend with more than 50% of digital budgets allocated to video. By 2025, mobile video will be an highly-rich source of opportunity for media rights holders to monetize digital video content.
Sponsors are proactively looking for media partnerships in digital and social video, acutely aware of the reach and engment it achieves. As audiences grow, ad spend is following. The introduction of 5G will accelerate this trend. Activating sponsors and taking advantage of native social media advertising will allow media companies will be able to increase returns on content, whilst generating new revenue streams.