Erwin Plomp, vice president of Fyber RTB, explains how premium publishers can maximise the opportunity presented by in-app video advertising
Video and mobile apps are the two most important areas of growth in digital publishing today. To sustain a business that engages users, whether they’re on desktop or mobile, in lean-back mode or actively searching for information, it’s imperative that publishers develop, execute and optimise a monetisation strategy that capitalises on the growth of these two channels.
Consumption is changing
One key consumer trend that supports this perspective is the huge growth in video consumption across devices. Figures from Q4 2015 showed that nearly half (46 per cent) of all video plays in the world were on mobile devices. Meanwhile, digital video services like YouTube Red and Twitch (which averages 34m+ monthly uniques) continue to steal market share from ‘traditional’ TV.
And much of this video consumption is happening in-app. As Flurry has noted, the average mobile user spends more than three hours engaging with content in apps every day, compared to just under three hours watching TV.
But the consumption stats only tell one side of the story. There are also buy-side factors at play.
Video and in-app ads appeal to advertisers because they can drive stellar engagement and conversion rates. For example, research has found that video ads have incredibly high completion rates (upwards of 70 per cent), regardless of whether they are embedded in short-, medium- or long-form content. Meanwhile, in-app click-through rates (CTRs) are more than 45 times the average on desktop and mobile web.
Programmatic is spurring growth in both video and in-app formats by delivering the scale and efficiency that encourages ad spending worth billions. This is why in-app programmatic spending is forecast to grow by 37 per cent from 2016 to 2017, and nearly three out of four US media buyers say they expect to spend more on programmatic TV and video next year.
Given this wealth of evidence, one might assume that the majority of premium publishers already have mobile video and in-app monetisation strategies in place. But we’ve found that many publishers have no solution in place for either video or in-app, while others are ready to monetise one but not the other. So what’s holding them back?
Overcoming technical barriers
A combination of technical challenges is preventing publishers from taking full advantage of the opportunities for video and in-app revenue. And this is where one-stop monetisation platforms like Fyber’s RTB come in.
For video, many of the hurdles stem from gaps in technologies, reporting and analytics. For example, Flash was once the leading software platform for players and creatives, but it isn’t always supported any longer. Yet advertisers and DSPs are often still working with Flash-based applications, causing a disconnect.
In addition, some vendors offer conflicting stats for viewability, completion rates and audience demographics. And since advertisers’ top three concerns about video are fraud, audience verification and difficulties with targeting, premium publishers need solutions that offer robust, real-time reporting for video, along with support for preferred buy-side vendors for metrics like viewability.
Meanwhile, technical challenges with in-app monetisation are largely mitigated by mobile ad platforms, but most don’t effectively monetise desktop traffic, leaving publishers to struggle with managing separate providers for each channel.
To overcome this, premium publishers are increasingly partnering with crossplatform solutions like Fyber, which support the widest variety of ad formats across desktop, mobile web and inapp, as well as delivering support for programmatic and direct deals.
Being at the intersection of the programmatic evolution, it has been fascinating to see more premium publishers arming themselves with better technologies. With more than seven years of solid buildup as a mobile-first in-app monetisation SSP, and our rapidly growing RTB business, we will continue to rise to the challenge of helping publishers generate sustainable revenue streams across mobile, display and mobile web.
This sponsored article first appeared in the June 2016 print edition of Mobile Marketing. You can read the whole issue here.