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Video Is Truly Everywhere, and Ad Buyers Need to Think Beyond TV, Desktop and Mobile

Digital out-of-home is a growing source of impressions

Digital place-based advertising is booming, from in-store signage to Times Square's vibrant billboards. Photo: Getty Images

It's certainly no secret that the media world is in the midst of unprecedented changes. There was a time when "change" in media meant television emerging as a challenger to radio, the evolution of black and white TV to color, the advent of cable television networks, and so on. The changes generally came one at a time, and fairly slowly at that. They were relatively easy for media professionals to digest.

Not so today. The media world is in a continuous and massive state of upheaval, moving at warp speed.

Barry Frey 

This is particularly true in the world of video, where TV—still a powerful medium, to be sure—is now far from the be-all for securing desired levels of video impressions. According to Nielsen, traditional television viewing has decreased from the prior year across the majority of demographics.

MoffettNathanson reports that the pay TV industry lost an estimated 556,000 subs in Q2 2015, and that commercial ratings for cable channels have been down every month since May 2014. And Americans are now spending almost five and a half hours a day viewing screens ... without even turning on a television!  At the same time, Kinetic USA reports Americans now spend an unprecedented 70 percent of their time out of the home.

So the conundrum is this: TV is moving in a negative direction, yet we know that video remains the most powerful form of ad messaging At the same time, with consumers out and about more than ever—what's a media planner to do?

Online is one solution to make up for lost video impressions, but it's far from perfect as ads are being neutered by blocking technology, challenged by viewability issues and bot fraud. Plus, Nielsen indicates only 18 percent of online video viewers are accounting for 94 percent of total consumption, offering limited consumer reach.

In the digital place-based (DPB) media world, we believe we have a key element of the video impression solution, and recent revenue growth data strongly supports this claim. According to data from the certified public accounting firm Miller, Kaplan, Arase, the growth rate for digital place-based far outpaced most major media for the first half of 2015. DPB media revenue grew by 14.3 percent, the sector well on its way to equaling or surpassing estimated revenue of $1.02 billion for 2015, as forecast earlier this year by MyersBizNet.

The exceptionally strong growth for digital place-based media reflects a movement toward video-agnostic media planning in what is rapidly becoming a "video everywhere" world. In fact, video-agnostic planning and buying will be among the important topics discussed at the Digital Place Based Advertising Association's (DPAA) eighth annual Video Everywhere Summit in New York on Nov. 3.   

The DPAA's annual survey of media planners, conducted in May, also put numbers to DPB's role in the video landscape. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of media planners rated TV high in effectiveness today, but just under one-half (49 percent) believe it will be as effective in three years. Meanwhile, 60 percent of those surveyed regard video everywhere, i.e., integrated multi-screen campaigns, as important in delivering advertising impressions, with 84 percent saying they will be important in three years. The planners said that DPB screens will more than double in importance to the video everywhere strategy in three years' time. And DPB's embrace of programmatic, led by ad-tech companies such as Ayuda, Broadsign and NEC, bodes well for the sector, as 67 percent of planners said they would be more likely to recommend DPB as part of media plans given its availability in programmatic buying systems.

With consumers out and about more than ever, DPB video is well positioned to help capture lost TV impressions in places including health clubs, taxi cabs, elevators, restaurants, bars, airplanes and the like. At the same time, more and more advertisers are finding that DPB and another great medium for reaching people on the go—mobile—can be an especially effective tandem for reaching consumers.

Global sports brand Puma, for example, worked with Blue Bite and others on a mobile-DPB campaign to promote the Ignite XT sneaker. Custom built experiential transit shelters enabled consumers to tap or scan mTAGs installed on the shelter DPB displays to launch a mobile experience promoting the Ignite XT and featuring Puma brand ambassadors Rihanna and Usain Bolt. For users with the PUMATRAC app on their mobile devices, the mobile experience could be triggered through a notification when they were within proximity of the shelters.

Another DPAA member initiative reaching on-the-go consumers is Intersection's linkNYC project in New York City. The initiative consists of beautifully designed, modern artistic structures installed in place of NYC phone booths, offering 1 gigabyte Wi-Fi, video and voice chat with touch screens and amazing video displays for advertisers. This is changing the face of urban environments, turning them into "smart cities." These hubs incorporate interactive maps to help find restaurants, museums and up-to-date entertainment hotspots. It's an advanced urban connection that combines technology, user experience and interactive engagement that will improve life in cities across the globe.

Enhancing the DPB-mobile connection are companies like Intel, Bulzi, SITO and others, which are identifying consumers in anonymous and aggregated fashion through mobile ID and facial recognition and then leveraging this data to serve addressable, targeted ads and quantify impact on product purchase. 

This is not to suggest that digital place-based media is a panacea for the video impressions dilemma, but clearly it's a significant part of the solution.

Barry Frey is president and CEO of the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (@DPAAorg). On Nov. 3, he will preside over the DPAA's eighth-annual Video Everywhere Summit in New York, which will explore the interconnectivity of the entire video ecosystem.

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