The Rise of Mobile Video Fuels Marketing Innovation

ABI Research, Nielsen and eMarketer have all released reports with some big numbers pertaining to mobile video marketing and video viewership on the devices. Take a look:

  • Mobile video views (on smartphones and tablets) worldwide will make up a quarter of total online views, with that proportion expected to double by 2019 (ABI Research)
  • In the U.S., 50.5 million people watched an average of 5 hours, 45 minutes of video on mobile phones a month through the first half of 2013 (Nielsen)
  • U.S. mobile video advertising overall will grow almost 80% to $924 million this year, and reach $2.7 billion by 2017 (Predicted by eMarketer).

Additionally, today video ad platform Videology reported (for Q4 2013) that it saw a 63% increase in total mobile ads quarter-over-quarter, which led to mobile’s share of all ads on the platform jumping 50%. However, mobile ads only accounted for 3% of all ads managed on Videology’s platform. This marks an overarching trend in the video marketing industry—for many brands, mobile video is taking a back seat to other promotional efforts.

Now more than ever, mobile video platforms are stepping it up by offering new, innovative technology to brands and advertisers alike. InMobi and Vungle are two of these platforms dedicated to serving mobile video ads to millions of users in creative ways.

InMobi launched a new video ad platform on Monday that contextualizes ads, offers more interactivity and can create real-time transactions. Along with the new platform, InMobi is introducing four new video formats—Interactive canvas, video smart ads, video continuum and form capture.

With these formats, the company will be able to serve personalized ads that are location specific and contextualized. For example, if you live in a cold city and happen to be near a Starbucks, the video ads on your phone will advertise hot drinks. Users will also be able to buy products immediately by clicking on the products displayed in the ad. Real-time e-commerce is an extremely valuable feature of these interactive mobile ad units.

In terms of ad exposure, InMobi boasts a network user base of 691 million (which is second only to Facebook).

“We have in excess of one billion video ad impressions demonstrating the scale and reach of our offering,” said Piyush Shah, VP, Products of InMobi said in a statement.

In-app video ad platform Vungle recently secured $17 million in a second-round funding led by Thomvest Ventures and including prior investors Crosslink Capital, Google Ventures, AOL Ventures, SoftTech VC, and Webb Investment Network. This startup has raised $25.5 million in total.

“Vungle’s platform allows mobile apps and brands to run 15-second promotional videos within apps in its network of more than 3,000 titles. It boasts an in-house production capability for quickly creating HD-quality videos that serve as trailers for games and other apps,” notes a MediaPost article.

With its newly raised capital, the company plans to launch a mobile video ad exchange that will enable real-time bidding (RTB) for in-app video ads on a programmatic basis.

“Mobile video is really hard to get right—there are issues with serving, ad formats, device types, connection speeds. This is the first exchange to address those issues, built from the ground up to serve ads into an in-app environment,” said Vungle CEO Zain Jaffer.

With its existing ad network reaching an audience of more than 80 million unique visitors each month, Vungle and its technology may motivate brands to seriously consider incorporating mobile video marketing into their promotional strategies.

While the mobile video ad market is still small, it’s growing fast. With smartphone ownership at an all-time high, it’s essential for brands and marketers to create and distribute video content to mobile audiences. Hopefully, continued innovation in the industry will prompt further adoption of this marketing channel.

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