The Intersection of Art & Science

Why brands should take note of mobile programmatic video

Art and science. These seemingly polar opposites frequently come together to create something amazing. And the combination of mobile video (art) and programmatic (science) is no exception. These two mega trends are converging faster than anyone could have predicted, and are already driving remarkable value in the market.

Long gone are the days when the advertising industry mocked the mobile device as a preposterous vehicle to deliver a message to consumers. These devices are now baked into virtually every moment of our lives-whether we're working, playing, or socializing. Mobile has become an indispensable forum for brands to build and maintain a personal connection with consumers.

With advances in screen size, retina displays, and new sophisticated sensors, mobile adoption has continued to grow and, interestingly enough, consumers' willingness and enthusiasm for watching video on mobile has gained momentum:

  • According to comScore, more than half of consumers under the age of 35 watch video on their mobile devices;
  • Growth in watching video on mobile devices is also coming from older demographics, with those 35-64 increasing an average of five percentage points from last year; and,
  • Per eMarketer, mobile video viewing grew 300 percent over the past two years to a whopping 33 minutes per day.

Together, with mobile video and programmatic, we are marrying a rich, creative experience with the pinnacle of automation, efficiency, and targeting. It's a formula that enables powerful storytelling at the right time and place to the right person.

More and more mobile app developers and publishers are enabling mobile video advertising on their sites and apps-an ad format that not only commands a significant price premium over banners, but also enhances the user's experience. In fact, with higher value ad formats in place, publishers have begun to limit the number of ads shown per user while still driving significant revenue gains.

Combining the power of sight, sound, and motion on a single device, it may come as no surprise that mobile video engagement rates are exponentially greater than banner ads. From building brand awareness to compelling consumers to make a specific purchase, advertisers are taking advantage of mobile video up and down the funnel. These are just a few reasons why U.S. mobile video ad spending will grow faster than any other advertising category, according to eMarketer. Even in these early days of mobile video, the results have been unparalleled-and there will be even more to come on this front.

As with most trends in the ad tech industry, the rise of mobile video advertising isn't occurring in a vacuum. Simultaneously, mobile programmatic spending shows no sign of slowing down and is expected to reach $14.15 billion in 2016, outpacing desktop by 126 percent, as reported by eMarketer. With benefits like efficiency, impression-level targeting capabilities and sophisticated business controls, programmatic has quickly become the technology foundation that underpins the mobile (and digital) advertising industry.

This position has been further solidified by the ability to build a range of programmatic markets-from first-look private marketplaces to executing programmatic direct deals. These markets empower both advertisers and publishers to conduct business how they want.

Certainly, as these two trends join forces, we're not without hurdles. As an industry, we are tackling adoption of standards, tracking and viewability concerns, but strides are being made. Efforts like the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) initiative around mobile video ad format standardization; Media Rating Council, American Association of Advertising Agencies,, and Association of National Advertisers \digging into viewability in mobile; and the OpenRTB specification supporting video and rich media formats, are greasing the wheels for mobile programmatic video.

We've just scratched the surface with mobile video and programmatic, but the combination of art and science-of mobile video and programmatic-has remarkable advantages. And as new innovative and scalable ad formats are built, we'll see mobile video adoption flourish and usher in a new era of creative experience for programmatic.