By Courtney McKlveen, Head of US Field Sales, Oath
Watching videos online is no longer a novelty: it’s become a part of our daily lives, whether we’re viewing short, 30-second videos or tuning into a live news story on our mobile devices, or even binge-watching our favorite shows through OTT services. Mobile is driving this new wave of viewership, and phones have become our constant companions, given the speed consumers move and the rise of this on-the-go lifestyle. With the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) recently announced schedule for the 2018 Digital Content NewFronts, digital video is top of mind for every marketer.
The lines between TV and digital continue to blur. Meanwhile, marketers are still scrambling to bridge the gaps between fragmented viewing behavior, and keeping their ad dollars from falling between the cracks. They need to optimize their media mix to drive business metrics and increase brand love, especially in a mobile environment.
That’s why now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at consumers’ digital viewing habits and the opportunity for marketers.
The Way We Watch Has Changed
First, consumers are simply watching more content digitally. eMarketer estimates that the number of digital video viewers in the United States will grow from roughly 222 million to 239 million over the next four years. Not only that, but as an industry, we know that more consumers are watching content across their devices than ever.
It’s really happening! This rise of cross-screen viewing means that consumers have more control and options to watch their favorite video programming whenever, wherever they want. Top quality content is no longer tied solely to TV networks; it has also shifted to digital platforms and viewers are eating it up. They are focused on what matters most to them — their passion points — and that means higher engagement around topics like sports, comedy and breaking news.
Younger Viewers Are Leading the Way
This shift in viewing behavior is especially true among millennials, who are just as likely to stream TV shows — either directly through their TV or on another device — as they are to watch content traditionally. What’s more, they crave live content — 41% of millennials said that live events help keep them in the know.
While TV continues to be an effective way to reach a mass audience quickly, digital video offers greater opportunity for engagement, especially among young adults who drive significant influence in the marketplace.
In the “Busy” Era, Keeping Audience Attention is Key
We’re in the era of “busy”and many people simply don’t feel they have the time to sit down and watch traditional TV with set times and ads. Our research shows that when tuning into TV, consumers are completely focused on a show just one-third of the time. Plus, only 10% of respondents said they fully focus on TV ads. There are a lot of other things to engage or distract audiences; it’s a habit developed over time. In contrast, engagement rates for online content continue to grow.
Better Targeting Delivers
eMarketer predicts that one in five households will opt out of cable and satellite TV service by 2018. Reaching this audience of lighter TV viewers presents a huge challenge for advertisers. We recently found that TV ad campaigns were not distributed evenly throughout the target audience. While
nearly all (96.8%) of the heaviest TV watchers were exposed to the ad on average of 20 times, this only accounted for one-fifth of the total viewing audience. However, digital ads with more sophisticated targeting solutions can be more effective at reaching these lighter TV viewers.
When advertisers were asked which aspects of digital advertising they valued the most in a recent survey, 54% of respondents said “targeting capabilities;” over four times more than the second most popular aspect. And it makes sense. Marketers now have insights from countless data points — from mobile and web searches, to in-app purchases, shopping and travel receipts. This helps paint a better picture of what consumers actually value. This data can deliver a much better ad experience for consumers, when marketers can effectively reach the right audiences at the right time through custom audience targeting with trusted partners.
Ultimately, digital video offers scale, efficiency and precision for marketers. The industry and opportunities are changing rapidly, as TV and digital continue to converge. And, if you haven’t already, now is the time to engage with your consumers in ways they want to see you show up for them. It’s time to make digital video, and especially mobile, central to your marketing strategy.
Courtney McKlveen is Head of U.S. Field Sales at Oath, where she leads an advertising sales team focused on serving many of the company’s top advertisers across verticals. A seasoned media professional, Courtney has over a decade of leadership experience in digital media strategy and partnerships. Courtney joined Yahoo in 2009, leading regional and national advertising sales teams with a focus on building strategic partnerships. Most recently, Courtney was Vice President and Industry Lead for the retail, travel and QSR categories at Yahoo. Previously, Courtney held sales leadership positions at Microsoft and Buzzlogic. Courtney is on the board of governors for the San Francisco Bay Area Innovation Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Washington University and now resides in the Bay Area with her family.